Let's talk trash. I'm on a ruthless decluttering jag. That means lots of trips to the Wertstoffhof. A quick Google Translate tells me that Wertstoffhof means 'Recycling Center'.
Well, you can just add 'recycling' to the list of things the Germans have gotten down to an orderly, methodical, science.
Oddly, I love these little trips. I feel like a good citizen for disposing of my 'problematic substances' (old electronics, paint, etc.) in a responsible way, and I'm infused with a sense of security and geborgenheit that I live in such a structured, thoughtful, well managed society.
Seriously, there are containers for everything: wood, plastic, electronics, old household machines, styrofoam. Guys in orange vests authoritatively direct the operations, which run smoothly. Basically you pull up in your car, run up to the appropriate container and toss it in. The industrious sound of mega-compactors adds a kind of soundtrack to the scene.
You're in and out in a matter of minutes.
But don't take pictures (why? are they worried other countries are going to steal top secret recycling plans?) I got yelled at by one of the guys when he saw me running around with my iphone. Lucky for you my husband is really good at taking stealth pictures. Shh.