Ocean Thermal Energy Corporation (OTEC)

Germany Leads the Way in Recycling With Advanced Color-Coding


What most consider a very dirty business is quite sophisticated in this European nation.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development reports that Germans willingly sort 65% of their waste for recycling or incineration. Compared to Americans, who only sort 35%, they are leading the world in recycling best practices.

It’s not just the government who enforces such strict waste management as most Germans consider it standard practice. On a trip to Germany several years ago, I can remember mindlessly throwing garbage in the nearest bin without thought. I was immediately stopped by a local, who was eager to show me that each bin was labeled (in several languages) for its corresponding materials.

Germans color-code numerous bins to indicate the proper location for waste and recyclables. There are bins for white or clear glass, colored glass, paper or cardboard, plastics or packaging, and organic waste for composting. These bins are a common occurrence, and can be found in public transportation hubs, town squares, and public or commercial buildings.

Detailed recycling practices like these are just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to taking care of our environment. According to IWantToBeRecycled.com, the average American generates 4.4 pounds of trash per day. To reduce your waste and find more information on your local recycling options, check out their website.

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