Germany is a wealthy country in Western Europe.
"Containern", as dumpster diving is called in Germany, is just easy - no chemicals and relatively little trouble with police/security (it might depend on a region - for example, Bavaria and its main city Munich are more conservative than most of other German lands). Dumpster diving is somehow tolerated, and some vendors from local food markets purposely leave a completely excellent produce so that dumpster divers would have a better and safer meal.
To see more detailed info on each city and town in Germany, please see the template at the bottom of this page.
First of all, dumpstering in Germany is illegal. You have to know this, and you mustn't be surprised if police come to check your identity. The best way to deal with these situations is to be conversative: talk to them, explain what you are doing, why you are doing it and ask what is bad about it.
There are known cases of store employees coming out and angrily asking the individual to stop dumpster diving, however, when talked very politely to, they leave dumpster divers in peace (see for more info here, in German).
If you get accused of dumpstering, it might be a good idea to answer "Oh good, I always wanted to tell people why I do that", and you can talk to the supermarket administration about that, do demonstrations while other people are shopping, etc. See more info on workshops for creative anti-repression.
Check as well private brown containers especially provided for organic garbage (Biomüll)they are usually full with bread and delicatessen.
- In December 2008 one dumpster diver was arrested for dumpstering.
- In December 2009 there was a lawsuit against 2 dumpster divers in Hamburg/Bad Oldesloe.
- In February 2, 2014, the trial against three alleged dumpster divers will begin in Witzenhausen, Hesse. The prosecution is aiming for a penalty of 4500€ or 3 months of jail time each. Read more about the case [here http://containerprozesswiz.blogsport.de/] (in German).
So far, noone has been finaly convicted for dumpster-diving in Germany.
In living areas it is quite common to walk the street and find some furniture and other stuff in good shape right on a sidewalk. Some really cool people even include user's manuals and spare parts. A sign that reads "zu verschenken" (which basically means "for taking away") might be attached.
Good stuff doesn't stay very long, and it usually takes one or two days for the city-recyclers to come and clean it up, so be quick.
All websites are in German unless otherwise noted.
- How to get food for free (not only in Germany)
- Good explanation for first-time dumpster divers
- Very detailed info about getting food for free
- Autoorgawiki: Umsonstökonomie - Dinge und Material umsonst besorgen (getting things for free)
- Anarchopedia: Containern - Secret and open dumpstering
- Building dumpstering networks - Find other people to dumpster together
- A container blog - Short stories about free-shopping and such
- Gewaltfreie Materialbeschaffung
- Basic info about dumpster diving on German Wikipedia
- A campaign to stop causing a destruction
- Kritisches zum containern - Theoretical debates about dumpstering and its social impact
- Anders Leben - Wiki pages about alternative and independent lifestyle (lots of different links to sources providing information on how to get stuff for free, and similar).
- Müllsafari (engl: Trashsafari) - A dumpster diary with pictures and constant updates
- German Dumpster Page
- German Dumpster Messageboard
- ohnegeld.net: Tipps zum Containern
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