Joint press release of the Umweltbundesamt and the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection

Aktion Biotonne Deutschland (German organic waste campaign) launches a “28-day organic waste bin challenge” for citizens.

A coalition of policymakers, business and associations is advocating for improvements to the collection of organic waste

auf einem Gehweg steht vor einer grünen Hecke eine braune Mülltonne, auf der "Bioabfälle" steht und aus der Gartenabfälle herausguckenClick to enlarge
Kitchen and garden waste, if collected separately, can be turned into valuable compost and biogas.
Source: eyetronic /

A coalition of policymakers, business and associations is running “Action weeks for organic waste bins in Germany” to advocate for improvements in the collection of organic waste. For four weeks from 7 November 2022, the spotlight will be on local authorities in Germany as they run campaigns on the ground to promote the separate collection of organic waste. This year’s action weeks will focus on a “28-day organic waste bin challenge” to raise awareness in the population. The Federal Ministry for the Environment, the Umweltbundesamt and nature conservation and business associations, towns and cities, administrative districts and municipal companies are supporting the nationwide campaign.

Federal Environment Minister Steffi Lemke says: “Organic waste is valuable: every potato peeling, wilted flower and piece of garden waste that goes into the organic waste bin helps save resources and is good for climate protection. This is because organic waste can be used to generate climate-friendly power and heat, and whatever is left over in the biogas plant then gets spread over fields or gardens as fertiliser, just like compost. One thing is clear: organic waste belongs in its own special bin and not in general household waste. Organic waste bins make disposal easier for consumers, which is why more towns and districts should opt to provide them.”

German Environment Agency (UBA) President Dirk Messner adds: “If we’re going to make use of compost and fermentation residues from organic waste, then the strict and clean separation of organic waste is essential. Foreign substances like plastic bags and other waste which have no place in the organic waste bin pose a risk to the quality of the products and can lead to the input of pollutants into soil that is used for agriculture. UBA therefore welcomes the fact that the Aktion Biotonne is focusing on both increasing the amount of organic waste recycled and maintaining the quality of the separated organic waste.”

The nationwide “Aktion Biotonne Deutschland” campaign is promoting an increase in the amount of compostable kitchen and garden waste and a reduction in the volume of foreign substances going into organic waste bins. During the action weeks, many towns, cities and administrative districts will be staging events to boost the separate collection of clean organic waste without foreign substances such as plastic. Information on general local waste management advice can also be found on NABU’s website.

All citizens can take part in the “28-day organic waste bin challenge”. Starting on 7 November, important knowledge on organic waste, along with practical tips on how to dispose of it properly, will be shared with them every day via the social media channels of their town or city, administrative district or local waste disposal company, and the central website of Aktion Biotonne Deutschland. Even those who do not use Instagram or Facebook can take part in the “28-day organic waste bin challenge” via the website. There they will also find more detailed information about the Aktion Biotonne Deutschland and the challenge.

Organic waste is the biggest single separately collected waste stream by volume among all municipal waste. In Germany, the share of organic waste in the overall volume of municipal waste is up to 40 percent. Some 14 million tons of biodegradable waste are processed in compost and fermentation/biogas plants in Germany every year. This mainly consists of the content of organic waste bins, biodegradable garden and park waste, waste from markets and other biodegradable waste from various origins. In 2020 in Germany, 5.3 million tons of organic waste each were separately collected from organic waste bins and garden and park waste; this amounts to 128 kilograms per resident per year.

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