Professional garbage sorters banned by German court

24th January 2008, Comments 0 comments

A firm that helps hapless Germans sort their garbage was banned because of a perceived danger to public health.

Dusseldorf (dpa) - In Germany, where every household must sort its garbage into special four or more bins for packaging, glass, paper and general scraps, a firm was prohibited Tuesday from sorting trash as a service.

The inventive company was not proposing to help the richest of the rich, but the poorest of the poor. In high-rise public housing estates, inhabitants often ignore the rules.

But the administrative tribunal of Dusseldorf said there would be a danger to public health if the helpers opened mouldy, germ-ridden, noxious garbage bags before municipal rubbish collectors hauled them to incinerators.

A leading services company, the firm had expected to be paid by landlords, who are keen to reduce their garbage volumes by stuffing more into the bins and using free recycling services to clear paper, glass and packaging.

Germans often joke that garbage sorting is a national obsession. In some towns, enforcers scold householders who mix their trash.

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