Waste sorting

Under waste separation, waste separation technically, refers to the separate collection of different types of waste. The varietal possible waste can then be fed (about as residual waste, construction waste, hazardous waste / hazardous materials ) either as a secondary raw material (waste materials, excavated materials and otherwise) for further utilization or disposal of a variety. Waste separation is - waste prevention - the element verursachernäheste efficient Altstoffrecyclings.


Waste separation includes two dependent of the polluter group aspects:

  • The separation of household waste in private households ( and similar institutions )
  • The separation of waste in commercial and industrial (including public sector)

Both require fundamentally different waste separation systems: while household waste uniform systems are desired as widely as possible that fit into the municipal waste management, companies need industry-and product-specific special solutions that integrate into the internal business processes. Today, both components are, however, often integrated into a unified waste separation system, which relates to legal frameworks, financing and waste management organization.

Must be separated not only the waste from consumption and production (primary waste ), but also the secondary waste generated from the disposal ( incineration ash and slag, shredded, sewage sludge, residues of rendering ).

Waste separation includes two methods, sorting by the polluter itself and the subsequent Order in waste sorting (splitting). Today the trend is to facilitate waste separation by measures already in goods production (recycling oriented design ). Measures such as the Green Dot ( pre- made ​​the purchase financing for good automated separable materials in packaging ) ensure that can be further separated efficiently also the originator side of the waste disposal industry. This will waste a significant asset, which makes disposal a total of macroeconomic finance: waste separation is seen as a kind of finishing otherwise worthless material. This principle forms the basis of modern waste management.

A good waste separation ratio (the ratio of unmixed separate waste to be disposed of), therefore, is the basis of a good recycling rate (the ratio of recycled waste materials to waste incineration and landfill ) and clean as possible thermal utilization.

While waste separation was based in the early years of the green movement on a voluntary basis, it is strictly regulated by law in modern industrial states today throughout both for households and businesses. The financing is mostly about trash fees, taxes or duties on products ( pre sale ).

Separate waste collection in Pitztal / Tirol

Mechanical separation of waste at a recycling plant

Waste separation at a Cherry Blossom Festival in Tokyo

Discarded household appliances for recycling electronic waste



In 1961, the collection of waste and recyclables better organized in the Federal Republic with the establishment of the Federation of German Waste Management Industry ( BDE). It arose service providers such as Sulo, Trienekens, Rethmann, Edelhoff, with the help of the legislature to transpose industrial recycling thoughts later.

Around the same time emerged in the GDR, the republic -wide collection system SERO, which existed until 1990 and went up in the West German structures after accession to the FRG.

In Germany the waste in general is already sorted by the consumer. Depending on the waste policy and the existing re- exploitation, the separation is carried out regionally. The most commonly collected paper, glass (partly divided into white and colored glass) and packaging by the Dual System Germany GmbH. Good also works the collection and composting of organic waste, battery recycling and recycling of scrap cars in the junkyard. Since 2005, the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Act ( WEEE ) applies.

2007 were disposed of in Germany about 10 % of the CFLs, which is significantly lower than the response rates of other countries and has been criticized by environmental groups as inadequate. This alone were " several hundred kilograms of mercury uncontrollably released into the environment in 2006. "

For the recycling of municipal waste unmixed as possible separation of waste by material groups was previously required. There are now sophisticated automated sorting technology, which can also separate mixed municipal waste ( partially ) sorted. The well-known in recent years the public image collection containers could change so in the future.

Since waste not only apply to the consumer, but also in the economy, there is also the need for there to capture waste. To include, for example, large amounts of rubble, wood scraps, plastic scraps and metal scraps.

To while collecting garbage - in-house or in the form of supra-regional collection systems - to reduce sorting effort, it is after the recycling law duty to pre-sort the trash. § 11 identifies the types of waste: paper, glass, plastics, organic waste, metals, electrical equipment, bulky waste. As far as this each separate waste collection containers are placed, you have to dispose of its waste in accordance separated therein. Another question is whether the disposal costs are apportioned readily on the cost of operations, for example, is excluded in terms of bulky waste, if the polluter is unknown or the costs are incurred only once. A scheme was introduced by the recycling code can be found primarily on products made ​​of plastic, but also on other objects.

Annual fall to about 350 million tonnes of waste in Germany. The largest share, namely about 200 million tonnes, are mineral wastes. Of the mineral wastes about 100 million tonnes of soil and rocks, about 73 million tonnes of construction waste ( rubble ), about 15 million tonnes of ash and slag from power plants and other combustion processes, about 7 million tonnes of blast furnace slag and blast furnace slag and approximately 6 million steel mill slag. The largest proportion of the soil material is used for filling measures.

Of the 455 kg waste, most of which was per capita in German households in 2009 were 199 kg household and bulky waste, recyclables and about 143 kg 111 kg biowaste.

The separation of waste has been propagated in Germany under improved environmental protection objectives. The goal may be achieved for highly incriminating wastes. However, the separation of fractions of household waste is regularly in discussion.

In fact, due to the separate removal of the specific expenses for disposal in the municipalities has grown and so are the costs per household increased significantly. A proof that the waste volume or mass of waste per head of population would have declined is not to be found in the literature.

In contrast, the waste separation and disposal and the disposal of vessels is in private households followed to use the different tariffs (Example Free Hanseatic City of Bremen ):

  • (Free to leave collectors, as settled by the delivery of the manufacturer for disposal ) batteries of all kinds,
  • Used oil and oil canister (free to leave collectors, as settled by the delivery of the manufacturer for disposal )
  • Medicines (partly free take on the pollutant acceptance locations on some cities / counties, otherwise disposed of in pharmacies)
  • ( Leaving small amounts for a small fee to collection centers ) rubble,
  • Disposable bottles and cans ( return in beverage sales points for refund of the can or bottle deposit )
  • Electronic waste (free to leave collectors, since settled by the delivery of the manufacturer),
  • Garden waste (free to leave collectors, removal and utilization with the fees for the residual waste covered )
  • Glass ( free of charge to the budget, as removal and utilization to cover costs for the waste disposal )
  • Green waste, brown bin (free for the household, since removal and utilization with the fees for the residual waste covered )
  • Sweepings ( absorption and removal only to the finally produced roads through the municipal street cleaning, shall be paid by the property tax)
  • Metal scrap (free to leave collectors, since removal and utilization more than cover the costs for the waste disposal ),
  • Paper and paperboard, blue bin (free for the household, since removal and utilization to cover costs for the waste disposal ),
  • Returnable bottles ( return in the outlets and refund the deposit bottles )
  • Residual waste, gray bin (for a fee, fixed tariff with minimum volume per capita ),
  • Hazardous waste collection (free to leave collectors, removal and utilization with the fees for the residual waste covered )
  • Bulky ( free pick-up on request removal and utilization with the fees covered for the residual waste or to leave to collection centers for a small fee )
  • Textiles ( collection containers and collection, removal and recycling more than cover the costs for the waste disposal ),
  • Packaging waste, yellow or yellow bin bag ( settled by the delivery of the packaging industry a dual system),

Other categories may also exist for households, but are not known or are ignored in the public debate.


In Austria, waste separation - regulated in the central Waste Management Act of the State, dealing with residual waste in the Landfill Directive and the areas seeded waste separation is generally responsibility of the municipalities ( street collection / garbage disposal, operation of recycling centers, waste disposal sites, etc.), single - in addition to common EU law aspects are handled in central waste separation and collection systems, such as packaging recycling in the ARA system (the company ARES for operational waste management solutions about ) is operated and sectoral recycling companies from the waste material recycling Austria and its subsidiaries, or the separation and disposal of radioactive waste by the Nuclear Engineering Seibersdorf (NES ) of the Austrian Institute of Technology.

In Austria today, the entire waste - at least in large groups - recognized separately: there is (as of 2010 ), about 52 million tons of waste at, almost 50 million tonnes of primary waste. 32 million tonnes are of mineral origin, 25 million tonnes of which are excavated materials which are separated already in the construction industry, and - apart from the sheer volume - are largely unproblematic, 5.2 million tonnes municipal solid waste ( approximately rubble ). 4 million tonnes of wood waste are, nearly 2 million tons of scrap metal, 1.8 million tons of paper waste. Food waste comprises about 1 million tonnes, other biologically recyclable waste 2 million tonnes. Nearly 400,000 tons come from animal husbandry and slaughter ( animal by-products - a rather problematic group - a total of just over 1 million tonnes). The rest, a lot of roughly 5 million tons, is commercial and industrial waste of various waste groups. Hazardous waste amounts to about 1 million tonnes ( ie 2 % of the total waste ).

For the purpose of processing and recycling 62 % of them separately (national recycling rate, the European leader ), for the thermal treatment of 15%.

Municipal waste from households and similar establishments include nearly 4 million tons, of which about 2.2 million tonnes recorded separately, 250,000 t bulky waste, 1.4 million tonnes of mixed waste, which must be further separated secondary ( primary waste collection rate 57%) are. Here, the deposition rate is nurmehr ½ %, 8 ½% are biotechnologically ( waste wood, etc. ), 17 ½% biogenic (compost ), 40 % incinerated, recycled 30.5% directly, 2 ½ are hazardous materials and electronic waste. In the unsorted waste recycling rate is then approximately 84.2 %, the thermal 14.3 %, the biogenic 0.5 %, 1% are landfilled. Overall nurmehr need something to be deposited over 400,000 tonnes of household waste ( 11.3%) - and even this amount is in terms of their disposability separately.

In commercial and industrial over 2 million tonnes of existing substances in the ARA system should be collected separately, which can be recycled or energy to over 97 %. By far the largest groups there are waste paper, cardboard and corrugated board ( 900.000. T) and iron and steel ( 750,000. T). By far the greatest cause is the construction industry that provides more than half of Austria's total waste by excavated materials. Excavation is also separated according to numerous criteria (origin soil - soil or rock - or technical fill material, possible contamination such as fire debris and contaminated sites ), and over 60% recycled ( terrain corrections, underground backfilling, embankment preparations, etc.), the rest is in landfill used. Other construction waste, demolition waste, in particular, are less efficiently separated, and are now the largest quantitative problem group dar. in the waste separation

For packaging waste about that accumulates in the amount of 800,000 tons, waste separation rate is 96%. There is also Austria's 1.46 million public reservoirs, 1.44 million households are connected to the collection system yellow bag. High levels traditionally obtain resources such as glass and scrap metal, and in particular the separation of organic recyclable waste, where the recycling rate achieved in the field of municipal waste with 33 % a European peak value with exceptional character. (Netherlands as No. 2: 24%).