Everything that can be recycled gets recycled. Water, juice, milk, yoghurt, soft drinks, and beer can all be purchased in deposit (pfand) bottles. Wine is very rarely sold in deposit bottles. All bottles and glass products have a deposit on them unless they are marked with a green dot. The deposit amount is listed along with the price in the grocery stores. When you purchase a bottle at the store you pay a deposit. Bring your bottles back to a store, place them in the return machine, and receive either cash back or a credit slip depending on the store.
Glass Glass that does not have a Pfand (typically non-drink containers, and wine bottles) gets put in big dome-shaped recycling bins that you will see periodically on the sides of the street or in your building’s courtyard. Should be sorted by color Braunglas = brown glass Grünglas = green glass Weißglas = clear glass Buntglas = colored glass (brown, green, etc.)
Black bin are for non-reclables like kitchen waste, tissues, textiles, leather, bulbs, broken china, diapers, re-bottled oil from deep-frying etc.
Blue bin (Blaue Tonne) are for newspapers, magazines, wrapping paper and cardboard (no laminates-yellow bin/bag). Cardboard/paper = Papier
Yellow bin or bags It depends on the area you are living in if you have a yellow bin or you need yellow plastic bags (Gelbe Sack) (you get them at the Bürgeramt for free) They are for any light plastic materials that are marked with the so-called "green dot". These materials are foil wrapping, plastic tubs, plastic bottles and foam materials. Tin cans, aluminum cans, milk, and juice cartons may also be placed in the yellow container. All containers must be completely emptied but don´t need to be rinsed. Aerosol packaging must be emptied (hairspray, deodorant, etc.) Plastic/metal/packaging= Verpackung
Brown bin (biotonne) This container is for any biodegradable refuse, both from the household and the garden. It is completely acceptable and advisable to wrap food waste in a newspaper before depositing it in the container. Here are items that should be put in the container: Fruit, salad and vegetable waste Eggshells and nutshells Left-over food and food that has gone bad fish, meat and bones Coffee filters and tea bags (please remove the tiny stables from the teabag) Bread, pastries Flowers Dying or dead plants Leaves and leaf mold
Battery Containers are available at every shop that sells them.
Medicine Medicine should never be thrown away. Please take any medicine that is no longer needed or expired to your local pharmacy (Apotheke)
Garden Waste like grass cuttings and leaves should be placed in the brown bin (if you have one) or in leaf bags which you buy at the Bürgeramt. One leaf bag costs 3 euro incl. disposal fee and only if they are filled with nothing but yard trimmings. Leave full and closed bags at the side of the street where they will be picked up after max. 14 days.
Large amounts of Recyclable Waste Should you have large amounts of recyclable refuse, you might want to take it to the local recycling depot. You may dispose of up to 2 cubic meters free of charge. If you have old furniture, large appliances, rugs etc., then you can request pick-up by the refuse authorities. For bulky refuse disposal, call the number below for an appointment and be sure to have a list of the items you want to get rid of ready. Berlin: tel. 030-8971-5555 Potsdam Mittlemark (Kleinmachnow): tel. 033-8433-0678 or online