KMC housing collection changes

by John Ahern 786th Civil Engineer Squadron

Beginning June 1, the way trash gets picked up for residents in the Ramstein, Vogelweh and Landstuhl townhouse-style units will change to become more like off-base pickups by switching to waste containers for sorting, recycling and handling household trash.

Like in the U.S., where sorting of glass, bottles and paper may change from state to state, it is also different here in Germany with the different underground dumpsters. People who live off base are familiar with the local rules and are a good source of information if you have questions. On-base recycling has been a dumpster-type system, until now.

Starting Memorial Day, the trash contractor will be delivering three different color-coded trash containers to your house. We ask that you put them in an inconspicuous location so they don’t make your neighborhood look poor. Do not store them in the front of your house.

One set of three bins will be provided for each house and are augmented with yellow bags available from housing self-help stores.

The yellow bags are for light fractions and rinsed food cans, all plastics, Styrofoam and wax papers; blue bins are for paper products, like in the states; brown bins are for biological waste, most kitchen waste and yard waste; and the black bin is for everything else. More details on what goes into each bin will be distributed to houses along with the schedule for pickups.

Starting June 1, we will switch from the underground dumpsters, which will be phased out, to these containers and the yellow bags with a collection on a regular schedule.

To start with, the black bin and yellow bags will be collected twice a month, with no limit to how many bags you can put out. The blue bin will be collected once a month. The brown bin will be collected weekly from May through November and twice a month from December through April.

On collection day, put the respective container curbside in front of your house by 6 a.m. with the lid shut, and put it away by 6 p.m. The truck cannot pick up over filled containers. If trash is put in the wrong container, the contractor will not pick it up, consistent with German law, and will provide a note of what was wrong.

The conversion is to reduce the improper dumping that has come with the underground containers and reduce our refuse collection costs. Right now we are often charged the full-trash rate for all our dumpsters because they have a mix of trash, whereas the yellow, brown and blue bins are charged a cheaper rate if they don’t have regular trash mixed in.

The change will make it easier for you to sort trash at home rather than carrying bags to the nearby underground dumpster only to find the wrong things are mixed or one of the dumpsters are jammed.

If you have problems with the containers, report it in accordance with the directions in the flyer from the housing office.