When it comes to trash handling, the German approach might first look a bit complicated. A lot of trash and waste is actually recycled if it is dumped into the correct bin. But the variety of both public trash bins and private trash bins you may find in your courtyard often remain a mystery to many Berlin travelers and nuBerliners.
Different colors and shapes of recycling bins don’t really communicate, which bin is meant to be used for what kind of trash. And the labels, indicating what kind of waste should be put into what specific bin are either in German or dirty or missing. So I’ll try to shed some light at least on how trash and recycling is handled in Berlin.
Additional to the trash bins located in your court yard, there are also public bins available for some types of recyclable trash. Most of these public recycling boxes are for glass, some for clothes. And then there is the official Berlin trash dump – or actually several Recycling Centers – where you can bring larger chunks of trash and all kinds of things you don’t need or want any more for either little or no money.
The official Berlin trash dump / BSR Recycling Center (“Recycling Hof”)
The easiest way to get rid of ‘old things’ is probably to bring them to one of the so called ‘Recycling Hof’ (Recycling Cente) of Berlin’s trash handling service BSR. Appliances and electronic devices like old TV Sets, computers, electronics, furniture, batteries, liquids, CDs etc. you can leave there for free. For some things however, trash that should actually go to the regular trash bins, you’ll have to pay a small fee.
See also > the official information page with a list of all locations, opening hours and an interactive map at http://www.bsr.de/9390.html
- recycling TV-Sets, Computers, Electronics, Batteries, Trash
- biodegradable waste / organic waste
- Paper and Cardboard recycling
- Packaging waste, plastic, wrapping, other recyclable material
- Recycling glass and bottles in Berlin
- Returnable Bottles
- Donating Clothes, Shoes, Books, DVDs etc.
- Scrap metal dealers
- Christmas trees
- www.trenntstadt-berlin.de (German only)
Do you have and thoughts, suggestions, additional recommendations or comments? Please feel free to leave your comment below. Thank you!