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Germany is a clean country and its residents like it that way. A functioning system of waste disposal and especially recycling has been set in place for a long time. Th radical instigation was aided by a strong Green political party during the earlier days of debate on climate change.

Local waste disposal companies responsible for collecting refuse in the regions, towns and cities of the Ruhr Metropolis are normally owned, part owned or financed by local authorities. Privatisation in Germany has not reached the extreme lengths of other countries where huge Spanish or French players rule over rubbish bins. While trucks can create a great deal of noise and cause traffic delays, the system is normally efficient and reliable.


Making an earlier start at aiming to save important resources, the Germans are famous for having created one of the most efficient recycling systems in the world. Doubts rise again and again. Many experts claim efficiency would be higher to separate after collection and not at source. The debate will continue, especially as technology advances.

Different coloured bins or bags at home are available. They are normally grey, grau, for general waste; blue, blau, for paper and cardboard; yellow, gelb, for plastic, metal and cartons; brown, braun, for biological, food and garden waste. Glass belongs in various containers on the streets all across the region. Collections take place at predetermined intervals, depending upon the type of bin and place of residence.

Batteries should be brought back to the shops that sell them. Packaging can either be left at the store, returned or, with larger items, be taken away when delivery has been ordered.

Electronics, electrical gadgets and other waste such as chemicals need to be collected as do bulkier objects such as furniture and kitchen appliances. German streets are infamous for their piles of collectables and junk, Sperrmüll, gathered by hunters from many countries and locals alike. Since many people like to grab a bargain, one person’s junk turns into someone else’s prize. The purest form of recycling!

The Duisburg contact is exemplary. Search Müllabfuhr plus your location in your browser for a local service organisation.

By Vincent Green, June 27 2021

Wirtschaftsbetriebe Duisburg AöR

Schifferstrasse 190
47059 Duisburg

+49 203 283 3000

Visitors viewing art


Art venues and museums across the Ruhr Metropolis regularly present selections of their own fine pieces in well arranged exhibitions. Regular exhibits of fascinating or rare artworks on loan from across the globe attract large numbers of enthusiasts too. Photo © Jochen Schlutius.

Beach scene with sunbathers


It may come as a surprise of newly arrived expats that beaches can be found in the Ruhr Metropolis. Fine sand and shingle are ideal for walking, playing, relaxing and picnicking. People flock to enjoy spaces beside the rivers and lakes, especially on warm and sunny summer days. Photo © Ralph Lueger.

Original language movies are popular among expats living across the Ruhr Metropolis. Films are screened regularly in English original with subtitles, known as OmU and without, portrayed as OV. A wide variety of cinemas or movie theatres can be found, both large and small.

Image of popcorn