Erhard Collection: „Waste – A look back”

a man in a street collecting wasteClick to enlarge
Waste disposal in England (copperplate engraving, H. Phyne, 1805)
Source: Sammlung Erhard

A selection of pictures from the Erhard Collection of the Environmental Library at the German Environment Agency in Dessau-Roßlau

Table of Contents


The Collection

In 1911 the Berlin engineer Karl M. Meyer initiated the „Auskunftsstelle für Müllbeseitung“ ("Information Centre for Waste Disposal"). It was implemented in the same year by the companies Schmidt and Melmer (manufacturer of waste containers, Weidenau/Sieg).

In 1923 Dr. Ing. habil Heinrich Erhard took over the management of the information centre, expanding it in the following period and managing it until the beginning of the 1960s. Towards the end of the 1960s, the federally owned "Zentralstelle für Abfallbeseitigung (ZfA)" (“Central Office for Waste Disposal”) bought the collection. The ZfA was integrated with the founding of the German Environment Agency in 1974. The "Erhard Collection" thus became part of the Environmental Library.

The collection is available to all interested parties. It documents the technology and organisation of waste disposal and recycling, mainly from 1915 to 1955.


The beginnings of waste disposal


The collecting of waste


Exchangeble-bin- and -floor-system


Faeces disposal


Three-way distribution system: Transport by three carts travelling behind one another


The sorting and utilisation of waste


Waste incineration


Deposit of waste

Printer-friendly version
 Sammlung Erhard  environmental library  waste disposal  waste incineration  waste collection