|This was outside the grocery store today, and you see sights like this all the time. Extremely well packed and organized recycling!|
Every bit of trash must be sorted into one of four categories, paper, plastics and cans, foods, or "rest mull" meaning everything else. When they first told me this, I was just planning to put basically everything besides plastic bottles and paper in "rest mull" to make my life easier. But, the Germans are smart and proofed their plan for lazy people like myself. The "rest mull" is only picked up once a month! So, you better consolidate what you put in there. Also, if you opt to throw food in there, it will be sitting there for weeks on end...and no one wants to have that smell!
So, after a few weeks of being confused about which color bag was for which trash, I got the hang of it. And now, much to my own surprise, I hardly have any "rest mull". I've been able to keep it to a bathroom sized trash can for the whole month! I have also grown to appreciate this system and realize how advanced the Germans are with controlling waste and being good stewards of the earth. As much time as people spend talking about "going green" in the states, no one, and I mean no one, sorts their trash as meticulously as the Germans do.