Pilot scheme in Berlin on waste segregation appears to be successful

5 Jun 2012

The municipal waste management company Berliner Stadtreinigung (BSR) has completed a pilot project involving the use of organic waste bags made of biodegradable plastic. In September 2011, remedy more than 21, see 000 households in the districts of Prenzlauer Berg and Hellersdorf each received a test package with 10 organic waste bags. Moreover, cialis 3700 households in Hellersdorf were additionally given a pre-sorting kitchen container to make it easier to collect organic waste. Approximately 80% of the residents surveyed were satisfied with the bags for collecting the organic waste. Incorrect disposal, in other words, the number of conventional, non-biodegradable bags that ended up in the organic waste bins, fell sharply during the trial. In Prenzlauer Berg, incorrect disposal fell by 37% and in Hellersdorf by as much as 67%.

The amount of organic waste collected during the project was very encouraging and increased by about 10% in the fourth quarter of 2011. This rise ran counter to the normal seasonal trend: During the same time span, the quantity of organic waste in other districts of Berlin fell by 20%.

Each participating household received the test package with the organic waste bags made of biodegradable and compostable plastic by bulk mail together with information material, free of charge. The residents were asked to use the bags to collect their organic waste in the following three months.

Results of the pilot project: improved hygiene in organic waste collection

According to a survey by the University of Mannheim, which had already conducted the analysis of a previous project, almost 80% of residents in both of these Berlin districts were satisfied or very satisfied with the new organic waste bags. Previously, almost 30% of those surveyed had not regularly separated their organic garbage because of the dirty collecting containers, while 23% had not done so because of the unpleasant odour.

The disposal of biodegradable garbage may be less complicated, provided of course that householders know exactly what is biodegradable. Biodegradable waste bags not only prevent odours and keep out insects, but also mean that it is no longer necessary to wash and clean the container in which the organic waste is collected. Air-permeable bags also ensure that the organic waste dries and smells less than it does in conventional bags which means that they do not have to be taken out of the kitchen every day.

?For us, it was crucial that the residents accepted the bags, that incorrect disposal decreased, and that organic waste collection was more convenient for the residents. A higher level of acceptance for organic waste collection also contributes to increasing the volumes of separated waste. Starting in 2013, our fermentation plant will produce biogas to power our garbage trucks and the fermentation residues will then be processed into compost,? explained Frieder Söling of Berliner Stadtreinigung (BSR).

The Kanthak & Adam engineering office, a consulting firm for projects involving waste management in Berlin that looked into the quality of the organic waste and of the compost, drew a positive interim balance: ?After two-thirds of the composting time, the bags had degraded in the composting plant and did not adversely affect the quality of the compost,? said Manfred Kanthak of Kanthak & Adam.

Leave a Reply

* *