Careful recycling in the kitchen

This is how you recycle correctly

Blanco Mülltrennsystem mit 3 Mülleimern; teil der Spüle ist zu sehen

Rubbish has inevitably become a huge issue in our society, and in our own homes, too. First and foremost, the problem is the large amount of packaging waste that each person produces. On average, according to the Federal Statistical Office, Germans produce around 462 kg of household waste per citizen. The majority of this is packaging and reusable materials, the production of which has used energy and raw materials. If rubbish cannot be avoided, then as much of it should be recycled as possible. Recycling reusable materials takes some of the burden off the environment and puts the resources to new use, so every item can do its bit to protect the environment. Only recycling can prevent items from harmful waste incineration.

Blanco Mülltrennsystem mit zwei verschiedenen Müllarten

Waste separation systems at home can be set up to save space

Recycling is an issue that should be tackled in every household. However, smaller homes often have to tackle the challenge of storing separated waste, such as paper and cardboard, bottles, glass, food waste, other waste and packaging over the interim.

Not all houses have enough room to keep rubbish separated and neat. It is important to empty containers for food waste, recyclables and other waste every 2–3 days, as failing to do so can lead to the build-up of unpleasant odours. In any case, the waste bin needs to remain close to the place where you conduct your household tasks, as this is where most of it occurs. As such, even at kitchen planning stage you should make sure that you have enough space and containers for getting rid of waste.

Getting clever about cutting down on packaging

Packaging requires a particularly large amount of space. This raises the question of whether it is possible to reduce the size of a lot of it. Milk cartons or boxes are great for stuffing outer packaging into, and even large plastic trays are often easy to fold down so that you have a smaller volume of waste.

Making things smaller in this way is permitted, whereas using a waste compactor, for example, to press down waste inside a rubbish bin is not permitted. This could easily cause the contents to become wedged, making it difficult to empty the bin.

Should you rinse out jars and tins before putting them in the recycling?

If used glass containers are going to be stored within your home for a relatively long period of time, you are advised to wash them out thoroughly in order to avoid any odours. A clean glass that is not being used any more should have any seals removed before it is stored. These do not belong in the used glass recycling system and can be thrown away in the recyclable waste container or other rubbish bin.

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Store food waste without smells

Food waste can become smelly in a particularly short space of time. When storing your food waste you should therefore be sure to avoid putting it in direct sunlight. Heat from nearby dishwashers or fridges can also exacerbate smells. Ideally, such waste should be located in a cool, dark and accessible base cabinet within your kitchen, or directly beneath your worktop. Such a compost container is simple to work into as you prepare food and can be emptied quickly and cleanly.