Where Are Citizens Recycling?

WORLD

Six types of trash? What may sound like a lot of fuss over garbage has become second nature among Germans, the world’s recycling champions. (New York Times)

Use our resources to get some ideas about recycling and other ways of going green.

Teachers, scroll down for a quick list of key resources in our Teachers Toolkit, including a link to today’s MapMaker Interactive map.

Color-coded bins like these (in the Italian-speaking area of Switzerland) are one of the keys to a successful recycling effort. Photograph by Ludovic Péron, courtesy Wikimedia. CC-BY-SA-3.0

Color-coded bins like these (in the Italian-speaking area of Switzerland) are one of the keys to a successful recycling effort.
Photograph by Ludovic Péron, courtesy Wikimedia. CC-BY-SA-3.0

Discussion Ideas

 

  • What habits help Germany with successful recycling and composting programs?
    • Bins are everywhere! They are found “on train cars and station platforms, town squares and public parks, schools, even soccer stadiums.” Most bins are labeled in multiple languages, making it easier for tourists to recycle.
      • In Germany, bins come in six colors:
        • black for unrecyclable waste
        • brown for compost
        • white for clear glass
        • green for green glass
        • yellow for plastics
        • blue for paper and cardboard
        • (Many areas, such as urban centers, have a single bin for glass and no bins for composting.)
    • Everyone is onboard! According to the New York Times, recycling “has become second nature among Germans.”
      • Composting is mandated by law.
      • Germans are rarely shy about intercepting strangers on the verge of dropping a paper cup or empty soda bottle into the General Waste bin with a cry of, ‘Stop! That doesn’t go in there!’”
      • Having said that, “even in Germany, you’ll find recycling rebels. Instead of sorting, they just throw it all in a big can marked General Waste, and they scoff at their dutiful neighbors who lug out trash in separate bags bound for color-coded bins.”

 

 

TEACHERS TOOLKIT

New York Times: Germany Gleefully Leads List of Top Recyclers

Nat Geo: Go Green! idea list

Nat Geo: Where are People Recycling? MapMaker Interactive map

(extra credit!) OECD: Environment at a Glance 2015—OECD Indicators

One response to “Where Are Citizens Recycling?

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