Location Berlin, Germany Urban Designed Technische Universität Berlin

### Overview of the problematic

The city of Berlin has an rising problem with illegal disposal of bulk waste. In 2023 the city paid around 9,67 million € for the removal of illegal displaced waste (rbb). In our project SpareMüll, we tried to find how this problem emerges and if there are any solutions.

To achieve this goal several steps were taken. First, the given information in the internet were collected, second we tried to get in touch with the BSR and politicians and third we tried to build solutions.

So what is the problem? The problem can be divided into two main topics. Commercial and normal waste. Let's start with the normal bulk waste. This garbage is put on the street by citizens of the city Berlin. The reason for it is a combination of missing information and misinformation, as well as lazyness and a reaching problem of the next garbage yard. We analyzed the situation of garbage yards in Berlin and there is a correlation between the district with a high illegal disposal rate the lack of a garbage yard. The amount of disposal in the year 2022 sorted by the district in Berlin, provided by the BSR through e-mail discussion, looks like this:

Distribution of illegal waste per district
Place District Amount in m^3
1 Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg 12.705
2 Neukölln 8.904
3 Mitte 5.243
4 Tempelhof-Schöneberg 2.449
5 Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf 2.258
6 Pankow 1.967
7 Lichtenberg 1.653
8 Reinickendorf 1.491
9 Spandau 1.456
10 Treptow-Köpenick 1.203
11 Steglitz-Zehlendorf 744
12 Marzahn-Hellersdorf 586

Neither Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, nor Mitte have an garbage yard in their district. Neukölln has one, but it's in the south, close to the next district. People who don't own a car will have problems removing their bulk waste on their own. This is a huge problem which needs solutions. The thing is, the BSR actually has solutions for this problematic. They offer three different alternatives.

• Once a month they organize a pick up service in each district, collecting garbage from the citizens for free.
• BSR offers a personal pick up service, which costs money

So the problem for citizens is not only the availability but for a big part the lack of knowledge. If people were informed about the offers, it would probably reduce a big amount of illegal waste.

Let's talk about the commercial problematic. This one is more difficult to grasp. A big part of the illegal disposed waste comes from commercial companies, trying to skip the fee at garbage yards. During our communication with BSR, they acknowledged the problem, but couldn't provide a solution. For a big part, the solution resolves around catching the people in action or analyzing the illegal waste and finding the person. This is very circuitous. The problem is here, that the public order office has not the needed funds. As a solution there are public projects like the "Waste Watchers", where citizens find and report the perpetrators. Once reported, the public order office informs the BSR and they remove the waste.

## Solutions

After analyzing the problematic we came to the conclusion, that the illegal disposals of bulk waste can be organized in three big fields. Improvement of the BSR, filling of the information lack and getting the politics involved.

### BSR

We contacted the BSR with many questions regarding the topic. Our goal was to specialize the problematic and find out if there are solutions for the commercial bulk waste. The Discussion was insightful and disappointing at the same time. They gave us a lot of useful information around the topic and their procedure for removing the waste. Difficult was the splitting between bulk waste from normal citizens and companies. For the citizens they gave us a detailed report with a solutions and procedures. On the other hand for the commercial part they said following:

"There are also numerous commercial waste disposal services for tradespeople in Berlin.

The fact is that dumping waste and construction waste in public spaces is illegal. Therefore, even after the legal mandate has been established, it remains important that the regulatory and security authorities - in line with their own mandate - flank the efficient removal of illegal dumping with consistent regulatory and criminal measures. This includes, for example, the resolute sanctioning of unlawful traders (e.g. dubious waste disposal and construction companies). It is unacceptable for such companies to simply dump their waste on streets, green spaces and forest areas in order to save on commercial disposal costs."

Summarized they said there are offers for them, without telling us one. Obviously we agreed with the sentiment that it shouldn't be accepted and actions has to be taken, but at least we hoped for providing off different solutions and future procedures to reduce this problematic. The cherry on the ice cake was the way, the BSR stoped the discussion with us. They wrote to us:

"If you have any further questions, please contact Berlin's public order offices. By disposing of illegal waste, BSR ensures that the city is kept clean in accordance with the law. We are not a regulatory authority that imposes fines or prosecutes offense's.

We ask for your understanding that we are currently unable to cooperate with further surveys due to time constraints."

### Information lack

Besides trying to get the topic on the political agenda and to discuss the problematic with the BSR one of our solutions is it to provide information to the public. Therefore we developed three information ways to distribute our agenda.

The first one is a flyer. It provides all of the basic information around the problematic and solution. The tricky thing is getting people to read it. Therefore we thought of two extra solutions, with a QR code to the flyer. For one a provocative poster, trying to catch the eyesight of bystanders. These poster can be placed at illegal bulk waste hot spots. The second solutions are stickers with memes on it. The goal for both ideas is to get the topic in the subconsciousness of the reader. We hope the reader gets a basic awareness about bulk waste.

### Politics

Our efforts to engage with local government offices in high-waste-problem areas such as Kreuzberg and Mitte highlighted many challenges. Despite our attempts to get in contact with the district offices, our inquiries were met with standardized responses or outright deflections. This made it difficult, if not impossible, to obtain meaningful input or material that could inform our project. The lack of direct communication and the bureaucratic barriers we encountered underscored the complexities of navigating political channels.

This experience demonstrated the importance of persistent and strategic engagement with political entities, and it highlighted a critical part for improvement in future projects.

### Learnings

Throughout our project, we gained valuable insights into the complexities of urban waste management (in Berlin) and the importance of effective communication and collaboration. One of the key learnings was the critical role of political engagement and networking. Our attempts to reach out to local politicians highlighted the need for established contacts or have luck to reach out the right person. Engaging with policymakers requires persistence and a clear presentation of the issues and proposed solutions. Additionally, we learned the importance of clear, concise, and visually appealing communication tools, such as flyers, social media strategies or posters, to raise public awareness.

The project also underscored the value of teamwork and an interactive feedback process in refining our ideas and strategies.

### Future Scope

Addressing the issue of bulky waste disposal in Berlin is an ongoing challenge that requires sustained effort and innovative solutions. Our project, SpareMüll, has laid us to the current state of bulk waste management, identifying key stakeholders (BSR and Politics), and proposing awareness campaigns.

We would love to hear when future groups build upon our findings and continue this work. There is potential for developing more comprehensive solutions that involve technological innovations, policy changes and community engagement. Collaborations with local authorities, waste management companies, and policymakers could lead to more effective strategies for reducing illegal dumping and promoting responsible disposal practices. By continuing this work, future groups could improve the urban environment and enhancing the quality of life in Berlin.

Keywords waste, city SDG11 Sustainable cities and communities CC-BY-SA-4.0 Berlin, Germany Technische Universität Berlin English (en) 0 subpages, 2 pages link here 22 page views (more) July 16, 2024 by 2A02:8109:8AB3:1F00:5CEB:965D:92E3:4AA8 July 18, 2024 by StandardWikitext bot "SpareMüll". Appropedia. 2024. Retrieved August 15, 2024. basic, semantic, html, files, more
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