New German trains have removed three seats in the normal "four-seater" area to build containers which allow passengers to recycle products on the trains. The containers include three or four parts, including paper, plastic, metal and trash. There are also recycling bins in many train stations,
both international stations and, generally, in the metropolitan stations. In Berlin, I saw several recycling bins in the inner city line stations.
In America there are very few recycling receptacles in public places. Recycling would save money while protecting the environment, especially locally, shrinking the contribution to the nearest landfill. So why aren't there more recycling bins available in public areas?
Possible reasons include:
• the need for monitors
• legalities about throwing private waste in public receptacles
• waste can be sticky and messy, it can blow away, attract bees, etc.
Maybe in the future there will be a method to implement receptacles outside or in very busy public places despite the listed drawbacks.
Even with possible drawbacks, recycling bins could still be added to places indoors such as trains, movie theatres and malls. (Even though U.S. train travel is a much smaller market than in Europe, there are many potential inter-state train systems in America in which to implement recycling systems.) The subways and metros may be more tricky. However, countries like Germany show the possibilty can be successful when carefully implemented — and the environmental benefits would be wonderful!
Photo: Amy Blume