Proper recycling in KMC housing areas

by John Ahern
786th Civil Engineer Squadron

If you live on Ramstein, Vogelweh or Landstuhl military housing, you should have received three wheeled bins, a roll of yellow bags and a sheet of paper describing what goes into each bin along with the contractor pickup schedule. Below is a recap of what goes into each of the bins and when you can expect it to be picked up over the next few weeks.

The brown bin is for biodegradable waste. Bio waste includes food scraps, to include meat and fish bones; coffee grounds; and compostable yard waste. Do not put animal feces or medical waste items in the bio bin. The bio bin is picked up every week during the warmer months, May through November, and every other week in the winter. To help prevent it from generating odors, you can put newspaper in the bottom or use paper bags to keep the sticky household waste from sticking to the inside of your bin. It is important to note, commissary plastic bags cannot be used in the bio bin.

The yellow bags are for your lightweight recyclables, such as milk cartons, plastic drink bottles, aluminum or tin cans, Styrofoam packaging, yogurt containers, wrappers from commissary meat products, etc. Almost anything recyclable, besides paper or glass, goes in this bin. These bags are picked up every other week and are likely to be your most used item. You are not limited by number of yellow bags, so you can have as many as needed to handle your light recyclables. Additional yellow bags are available at the housing self-help store.

The blue bin is for all paper and cardboard but not wax-coated paper, that goes in the yellow bag. This bin is picked up every four weeks, and the next pickup is July 13. Cardboard boxes can be broken down and put next to the blue bin on pickup day if they don’t fit in the bin.

Lastly, the black bin is your trash bin and should be for everything that can’t be recycled and is not hazardous, including medical, waste. For many, most of the items in this container will be pet litter or diapers. This bin is picked up every other week, and the next pickup is scheduled for Wednesday.

Although it may seem overwhelming at first, the separation is similar to what off-base residents comply with and what we’ve been expected to do in the underground dumpsters; now it’s just at your home. Recycling properly will save the Air Force a significant amount of funds in our refuse collection. For glass recycling, nothing has changed.

One final reminder, on pickup day, the respective container should be placed curbside in front of your house no earlier than 6 p.m. the night before pickup or no later than 6 a.m. the morning of pickup with the lid shut — the truck cannot pick up overfilled containers — and put them away by 7 p.m. the day of pickup.

If you need a copy of the schedule, they are available at the self-help store near where you pick up your yellow bags.

Remember to be consistent with German law. If trash is put in the wrong container, the contractor will not pick it up, but they will provide a note of what was wrong so it’s easy to fix for the next pickup.