If the weekend was hot and sunny in Germany, no matter where you are, you will get to see one thing Monday: stacks of beer crates, filled with empty bottles, being brought back to the shops. To be fair, not just beer, some soft drinks are also hidden in there, but the beer crates take up the bulk of what is brought back. Gone are the days of tossing the empty bottles out with the trash, everything has its worth today, and each one of these bottles is worth eight cents.
Glass is a recyclable product, which means that the government decided to put a deposit on all beer bottles a few years ago, along with some plastic bottles and metal cans. Not all of them, and certainly not everything that is made of glass or plastic, but a good selection. We now have a society which is not only used to separating one type of trash from another for the different trash cans which line the streets on collection days, but also one which collects bottles and cans for the money they bring back in.
Photo Source: Stefan – Creative Commons
And this extra value has brought a small industry with it. There are people who clear away empty bottles and cans from the streets – plastic bottles are with twenty-five cents each – and even go through the public trash cans sorting out what they can find, what is worth taking in to the local drinks store, to the supermarket to earn a living or, at the very least, a little pocket-money on the side.
Weekend and good weather, a good barbecue, and money back afterwards. Although I have come across some people who are so out of things that the money they could get back lies next to them in the street. Saturday morning, the early bus in to Bremen, and a few party-goers, complete with drinks, climbed in to the bus to go home, at eight in the morning. Another sign that the weather was good, the barbecue tasty, and the music enough to keep their attention through the night.
Love & Kisses, Viki.