Why should we separate waste

Separating garbage: why actually?

Why do you have to separate garbage at all?

So that as much waste as possible can be recycled. For example, the recycling rates for paper and glass are over 80 percent - that is, glass and paper are also made from glass and paper again. The following applies: the more consistently waste is separated, the better the recycling.

Isn't everything thrown together anyway?

No of course not. What was recorded separately remains separate and goes into the respective disposal channel.

What would happen if we stopped separating our trash?

Then we would have less paper and glass from waste and in Berlin we could no longer operate the biogas plant and therefore no longer dispose of 60 percent of Berlin's household and organic waste in a climate-neutral way. The sorting plant for recyclable materials in Berlin would be empty and there would be no substitute fuels or new products made from recyclable materials such as metal and plastic.

How much plastic waste does it collect per day?

There are hardly any reliable figures: in 2013 there was a total of 5,679,000 tons of plastic waste in Germany, not just packaging.

And how is the plastic waste recycled?

More than half are processed into substitute fuel - and then used to generate energy. The garbage is burned and the heat converted into energy. Plastic can be recovered from around a third of plastic waste. For example, old PET bottles can be turned into new products. For example, the first manufacturers of cleaning agents are now using bottles made from recycled materials for their products - these are substances made from packaging waste.

How is it ensured that the garbage does not get from the collection point into the sea through wind, rain or other environmental influences?

Berliner Stadtreinigung collects and disposes of household and organic waste in Berlin. After collection, both end up in different garbage bunkers, which are closed with roller doors when they are not being loaded, i.e. trucks dump garbage into the bunker. Nothing gets into the sea through rainwater or wind.

About Franziska Voss:

Franziska Voss, 33, is a waste advisor at the Berlin city cleaning service (BSR). You informed private households, businesses and public institutions about disposal options. The focus is on waste avoidance as well as on waste separation and recycling. In her private life, she separates recyclables, glass, paper and organic waste. With over 5,000 employees, BSR is the largest municipal waste disposal company in Germany.