What are examples of degradable waste

Municipal waste

Municipal waste is waste from private households and comparable facilities, for example waste from doctors 'and lawyers' offices, administration buildings, schools, kindergartens, hospitals and care facilities as well as waste from trade and industry similar to household waste. Municipal waste also includes bulky waste, market waste, street sweepings, organic waste and separately collected recyclable materials such as glass and paper. The amount of municipal waste is around 50.3 million tons (2018). Of this, around 44.4 million tonnes are typical household waste and around 13.5 million tonnes of this is household waste and commercial waste similar to household waste, which was collected together via public waste collection. On behalf of the Federal Environment Ministry, the Federal Environment Agency had the composition of residual waste from private households examined in a study entitled "Comparative analysis of residual municipal waste from representative regions in Germany" from 2020. Thereafter, the amount of residual waste from private households (excluding commercial waste similar to household waste) fell from 239 kg (1983) to 128 kg per inhabitant and year (2018). The analysis of this residual waste showed a relatively high proportion of recyclables. The residual waste still contains almost 40 percent bio-waste, which is thus withdrawn from material and energetic use, but also high proportions of plastics, waste paper, glass and composite materials that should actually be separated.

The disposal of household waste is the sole responsibility of the legal entities obliged under state law (public waste disposal authorities). As a rule, these are the municipalities. Household waste is subject to the obligation to hand it over to the public waste disposal authorities in accordance with Section 17 Paragraph 1 of the Recycling Management Act. They can use third parties, for example private waste disposal companies, to fulfill their obligations. The waste is collected from private households. For example, the municipalities use waste calendars to provide information on the times and times of which waste is removed.

The municipality or its representatives ensure that the waste is disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner. Waste that can be recycled should be recycled as far as possible, for example by producing compost from organic waste in the organic waste bin, glass or paper, or by using it for energy. In total, around 67 percent of municipal waste was recycled in 2018. The non-recyclable residual waste is sent to waste incineration or mechanical-biological treatment. Only the residues remaining from this treatment and waste that is already inert can be deposited in landfills. Since June 1, 2005, no untreated, biodegradable municipal waste may be deposited in landfills.