"Recycling champions of the world" share their not-so-secret secrets for creating a greener world
Isn't it about time we rethink how we recycle and reuse waste and refuse? Germany sure believes so! And they're way ahead of the curve in taking action toward those ideas, dubbing them the world's recycling champions.
According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, 65% of waste created by German citizens is sorted into an array of color-coded bins and collected for actual reuse or standard incineration, accordingly.
One outside of the box (...kind of) approach they've implemented even involves paying their citizens to recycle plastic bottles!
In Germany, a 25 cent deposit is incorporated in the price for drinks purchased in a plastic bottle. Once the (hopefully) tasty drink has been downed, instead of pitching the container into one of the colorful recycling bins, it can be taken to a local bottle-recycling machine, often located near the front of supermarkets, where you literally get paid to recycle the bottle.
"Germany’s waste management success really comes down to two things: strong government policy and its citizens embracing recycling." -Brian Brassaw, Earth911
Going even further than the standard recycling procedures of organize and haul away, every community in Germany has also been legally required to collect compost since 2015. Turns out Germans generate nearly 10 million tons of the stuff each year, which is super helpful for use in biogas plants or as organic fertilizer, if you could only imagine.
Germany is an encouraging example of how an effective and efficient waste management program is indeed possible. The implemented policies have truly worked and that is largely because their citizens are actually on board with the efforts.
Here's to finding inspiration to deepen our desire toward creating a greener future here in America as well.
By Sam Jump