Monday, August 15, 2011

How to Recycle Liquids

As you would suppose: Our Green City has a perfect recycling system. In Freiburg we use a green (?) container for paper, a brown bin for organic compostable stuff, and a yellow plastic bag for used packaging materials. We pay a deposit of 25 eurocents for drinks in plastic bottles that is reimbursed when we return the empty bottles. There are containers all over town accepting glass bottles to be separated in white, brown and mostly green colours except for those bottles with a deposit of 8 eurocents, refundable when we hand them in at the local supermarket.

The rest of the garbage that cannot be recycled we place in a dark-gray bin. For this bin you pay a yearly fee based on the volume you need for your waste. Although the bins come in one size only, plastic inserts reduce the fillable volume. Some people acquire those gray bins equipped with a lock for an extra fee so that your friendly neighbour doesn't deposit his garbage into your bin.

Garbage bin with lock and key

All in all the recycling and waste business is booming in Freiburg. Only at the end of a year discussions and letters to the editor become hot when a fee increase for those garbage bins for the coming year is in store.

You may imagine my shock when during my latest trip to the city of Speyer the hotel requested an additional way of recycling. Visiting the toilet I was confronted with individual panels over each of the urinals demanding that you pee as instructed. In addition to beer they had urinals for wine and water.

I was so disturbed that on my way back home I formulated a letter to the city councilors complaining about Freiburg's backwardness. Well, I ultimately didn't send the letter since visiting the conveniences in one of my favourite places, the CouCou, I found that they had an even finer separation for liquids exploiting the high number of urinals. A nicely framed cuckoo is watching your efforts. I admit my cheating. I emptied my beer into the champagne urinal.

1 comment:

  1. If you recycle your stuff, then you could influence more people to follow your example by being more vocal about it. A way to let other people know about your recycling activities is to snap a picture of yourself while at work. Here's the application for doing just that.