German Household Waste

Expanding more on how waste is handled in Germany vs The US, I also found that there is quite a big difference in the household. Again, slight disclaimer, this has only been my experience in the few households I have experienced in Germany in comparison to households in the Oklahoma.

In Oklahoma, there has been an increase in recycling especially with the newish city-wide recycling, but Germany places a bigger emphasis on it in the household than we do. There is practically no one-time use water bottles to be seen in the houses, and when there are plastic bottles that are promptly separated into their corresponding recycling groups or are prepared to be returned for vouchers at the grocery store.

Food waste and material waste are also considered. Paper napkins and food scraps are used for composting and composting bins are rotated out of the house to be used when full. As for material, it is very uncommon to just throw things away just because they look tired or have a broken component. There is more of a fix-it approach rather than a throw away and get a new one, and I don’t think these traits are solely in Germany. My visits to Sweden showed similar approaches. This approach decreases waste by reducing the demand for new items. I think it is always important to learn and better our current system by looking at the successes of other countries.

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