The subject of sorting waste and recycling plays a special role in Ger- many. You may perhaps be surprised to see an array of different rubbish bins in front of houses; each, in fact, has it own particular purpose. Rub- bish is separated into paper waste (blue bin), compost/organic waste (brown bin, also known as the compost bin) and packaging waste (yellow bin or yellow bag). The remaining waste is placed in the grey or black bin. Glass and cans can also be recycled. There is a deposit on some bottles and cans, so it is worth returning these when they are empty the next time you go shopping (to the supermarket). If glass bottles do not have a deposit on them, you can dispose of them in glass containers in your neighbourhood. Supermarkets and shops have small collection boxes for used batteries because they cannot be disposed of with household waste. There are special recycling centres for old electrical equipment and larger items – you will have to find out where these are. The system may at first seem costly, but it helps the environment and ultimately means much cleaner towns and cities.

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