Trash obsessed

Just a quick one before I really need to sleep (I’m perfectly fine on six hours, but go below that and I go weird… weirder than usual, anyway): I just learned how obsessed about trash Germans really are.

Now, where I come from trash is something to get rid of, as fast and least smelly as possible. Here in Germany they collect their trash for weeks before it’s finally going to go. Oh, and no handy dumpsters or anything in front of your house.

Well, let me back up a bit. People in my house really don’t care all that much about trash, just that you don’t fill up the dumpster with really big stuff. Generally, though, Germans keep a variety of trash cans for all different (indistinguishable) kinds of rubbish. Through intense study and hours of deliberation (“Is that paper, plastic or a composite?”) I finally got the hang of the four freaking different sorts of trash in our kitchen. I mean, the thought of going to such lengths when there’s something called thermal recycling in your town astounds me. Back where I come from, we call it burning trash. Here, it’s got a fancy name that practically says the same. Must have been invented by lawyers. Ah, deviating from the story again.

Anyway, so I finally got the gist of which trash goes where. We’re taking down one type of trash fairly regularly, paper gets carted off with roomie’s bf’s car on the weekends, and I simply didn’t care enough about biodegradables or plastic to give them extra attention. Roomie decided this didn’t sit well with her eco-conscious and installed the other two trash cans in the kitchen. So, we’d had nasty plastic smelling up the kitchen with equally nasty apparently really valuable bio trash. UGH!

I told roomie I didn’t want a part of this and happily sent my trash towards the regular bin and thermal recycling, where all this separated rubbish will end up anyway! She ranted and raved about my ignorant American ways and how I was destroying the planet and single-handedly killing baby animals or some such rot. Long story short, I’ve been standing in front of four bins with rubbish in my hands trying to decipher the labels and deciding which goes where every single day for two weeks now.

Turns out that’s when Germans get their trash taken care of. Now, our regular rubbish disappears every three days to a week from its big dumpster just like it should. This other rubbish rots (thankfully not in our kitchen, finally put my foot down about that) over in the attic until roomie decides it’s time for it to go away.

Seriously, picture this: It’s past midnight. Nell’s just getting ready to go to sleep as she has to get up at shortly past 6am in the morning. Suddenly!

The door to Nell’s room slams open! There stands roomie, all wide-eyed and wild-haired screaming something about trash at sleepy Nell.

Three minutes later: Pyjama-clad Nell and roomie are lugging bags full of trash down from the fourth-floor apartment to the curb since it’s not enough the stuff has to be kept for a couple weeks, no, you have to serve it to the trash collectors on a silver plate, too! It’s wet outside, and icy cold, and there’s ice on the pavement, and Nell’s just wearing slippers as she’s tired and worn and just wants to sleep and not think about smelly things.

At least roomie’s eco-conscious is appeased. Still not going to play along anymore. If she wants to be green, she can do it herself. Me no wanna part of it.

thermal recycling! *mutters darkly*

Besides, I’d really like some global warming where I’m at right now. Still freezing…

Good night!


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