Germany is known for its distinctive waste separation system. Different types of waste are treated separately from one another. The various types are either collected or you have to take them to certain disposal points.
Waste collection in Wolfsburg is carried out according to a waste collection plan, which can be viewed here:
Restmüll (non-recyclable waste) includes materials which cannot be used again, e.g. kitchen roll, tissues, scraps of material, disposable lighters, nappies, dirty paper, cool ashes.
The Gelbe Sack (yellow bin bag) or the Gelbe Tonne (yellow bin) is for rubbish that has a green dot on it. This waste is generally recyclable, e.g. packaging made from plastic (wrapping, pots, and plastic bottles) or metal (aluminium foil, tins, drinks cans).
Yellow bin bags can be picked up for free from the checkout at several supermarkets and DIY stores, or from Wolfsburg Town Hall.
The Biotonne (organic bin) is for organic waste, such as fruit and vegetable leftovers, coffee grounds, tea bags, flowers, foliage, …
Paper, cardboard, newspapers, magazines and clean cardboard packaging belong in the Papiertonne (paper bin).
Germany’s ‘Pfand’ system is a special bottle and can recycling system. Non-returnable and returnable bottles, cans and drinks crates are allocated a deposit value between € 0.08 and € 4. Deposit bottles can be recognised by the recycling symbol on the bottle, or the term “Pfand-Flasche”. The deposit value is calculated when you buy a bottle and then deducted at the checkout. The bottles and cans can be returned to all sales points, which sell the same bottles/ cans. There are often empty bottle machines at supermarkets entrances, which print the deposit value in the form of coupons. These can be redeemed when you pay for your shopping, or paid out at the checkout.
The Glascontainer (glass bank) is intended for all types of jars and bottles that cannot be returned as deposit bottles to the respective supermarket, e.g. glass bottles, jars (separated according to colour) and preserving jars (without the lid). Mirrored glass, light bulbs and ceramic items are not suitable for the glass bank. Glass banks are often located near residential buildings and in supermarket car parks.
Batteries are collected in special containers in supermarkets.
Oil, paint and other useable materials are not suitable for Restmüll (non-recyclable waste). It is referred to as Sondermüll (special waste) and must be taken directly to the dump.
For larger items like sofas, mattresses etc., you can order the municipal collection service, known as Sperrmüll (bulky waste).