In Germany, garbage is separated in order to protect the people to protect the environment and to produce new products through reprocessing. Prerequisite is that the garbage is separated properly! That’s why we’ve put together a guide to help you find out what’s going where.

Which garbage cans are there and which garbage goes into which bin? Basically, waste separation is very simple and quick to explain! A distinction is made between five categories: Lightweight packaging (LVP) made of plastic, aluminum, tinplate or composite materials such as beverage cartons, glass, paper / cardboard / cardboard as well as residual waste and biowaste.
For each of these types of waste there are separate collection containers.

What goes in the Grüne/Blaue Tonne (green or blue can) for paper and cardboard recycling?

  • Paper and cardboard packaging marked with or without a Grüne Punkt(Green Dot), for example, cartons for salt, laundry detergent)
  • uncoated frozen food packaging
  • newspapers, magazines, junk-mail
  • notebooks, writing pads, writing paper, envelopes, computer paper
  • packing paper, corrugated cardboard
  • books without covers, catalogs

What goes in the yellow bags is plastic and compound materials recycling?

  • plastic food containers, like for yogurt or margarine
  • plastic bottles, for example, body wash, shampoo, sunscreen, laundry detergent,    juice bottles
  • plastic wrap, plastic bags (like from inside the cereal box, or shopping bags)
  • vacuum-pack bags, for example, coffee bags
  • Styrofoam packaging, also for meats, fruits and vegeta yebles
  • nets that citrus and potatoes come in
  • aluminum foil, lids, trays
  • paper or plastic plates, plastic utensils
  • fast food mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup packets
  • tin drink and food cans
  • aerosol cans (hairspray, deodorant, etc.)
  • tubes for toothpaste, stain remover, tomato paste, etc.
  • plastic bottle screw-tops
  • milk and juice cartons
  • pharmaceutical blister-packs


What goes in the BIO Tonne (brown can) for biological waste?

  • garden clippings, weeds, grass cuttings
  • foliage and plants, including houseplants
  • feathers and hair from pets
  • paper towels
  • fruit and vegetable peels and leftovers, including citrus fruits
  • coffee grounds and filters
  • tea and tea bags
  • egg shells
  • flowers
  • bread and cheese
  • spoiled food
  • nut shells
  • organic pet litter, like hay, straw, wood shavings
  • untreated wood
  • Christmas trees (no tinsel)

What goes in the Altglastonne (old glass containers)?

  • non-returnable glass jars and bottles
  • marmalade, jam, jelly, preserve jars
  • packaging made from glass
  • blue glass (goes in the green glass container)

What does not go in the Altglastonne (old glass containers)?

  • light bulbs
  • ceramic and porcelain
  • mirror, window and plate glass
  • crystal
  • ceramic stove tops
  • auto windshields
  • fireproof glass