Going Green: Cleaning up, while clearing out

Photo by Es sarawuth / Shutterstock.com
Photo by Es sarawuth / Shutterstock.com

By USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs Office

In each of the three major counties in the Stuttgart area, there are differences in how trash and recyclables are handled.
Although specific procedures vary, most programs divide trash and recyclables into six categories: trash/rubbish, recyclables, paper, organic waste, glass and hazardous waste. Here are some tips to get help you clean up, while you clear out:

Sperrmüll or bulky trash

This is residual waste that is too big for the regular trash bin, but does not exceed a given size. For example, in Böblingen, it cannot exceed 2 meters by 1.2 meters by .8 meters, and must weigh less than 60 kilograms per piece. Mattresses, cupboards, bed frames, furniture, carpets, mirrors, suitcases, skis and surfboards are all examples of common bulk trash items.

On-Post trash and dumping

For on post residents, things are relatively simple. Clearly labeled containers are available in all housing areas, and the online guide details what items can and cannot go into each container.
Residents living off post should note that bring trash on post to dump is prohibited by USAG Stuttgart policy.

Getting rid of extra trash is not costly

In fact, it’s sometimes free, but does take some effort and coordination. Some areas have recycling centers and city dumps where residents can take their trash, and almost all areas have procedures for residents to request pick-up of bulk trash and other non-standard waste. Often these pickups are free of charge, but usually are only offered a limited number of times per year. Contact the agency for your area for more information.

Sorting out the mess, bin by bin

“Restmüll” or regular trash: Basically anything that does not fit into any of the recyclable categories, and is not hazardous material.

“Altpapier” or waste paper: items such as books, catalogs, newspapers, magazines, periodicals, papers, correspondence, handouts, notes, wrapping paper, boxes and packing material made of cardboard. Make sure not to throw the following items into the paper recycling: coated and wet strength paper, coated packaging, folder, organic and mineral contaminated paper.

“Wertstoffe” or recyclables: things made of metal, plastic, wood such as pots, pans, tools, toys, chopping boards, buckets, watering pots, bowls, colanders, baskets, cups, and boxes. However, the following items are not considered recyclable: textiles, vehicle parts, construction debris, CDs, DVDs.

“Bio” or organic waste: items such as leftovers, eggshells, coffee filters, tea bags, vegetables and fruits, tree-, bush-, and hedge-clippings, flowers and plants, leaves, grass clippings and weeds.
Glass: Glass recycling can vary greatly from area to area. In some areas glass must be taken to glass recycling points and sorted into color-coded bins. In other areas glass is picked up like other trash on a given schedule and is not sorted. Glass recycling does not include returnable bottles, windows, crystalline glass, spectacles, mirror glasses, dishes and light bulbs.

Other waste: Electronics and hazardous waste must be carefully handled, and there is a wide variance in how these items are handled. Residents who have these types of waste are advised to contact their local office (contact information for area offices can be found on the U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart website) to arrange for disposal.

County waste management offices:

  • Böblingen
    Landratsamt Böblingen
    Abfallwirtschaft, Gebäude D
    Parkstrasse 16, 71034 Böblingen
    Tel. 07031-663-15 50
    Email: awb@lrabb.de
    Website: www.lrabb.de/start
  • Stuttgart
    Eigenbetrieb Abfallwirtschaft Stuttgart
    Heinrich-Baumann-Strasse 4
    70190 Stuttgart
    Tel. 0711/216-88700
    Email: poststelle.aws@stuttgart.de
    Website (German only): www.stuttgart.de/umwelt