Last fall, my patience was at an end:

I bought a litter picker  at the hardware store. I have lived in Gaarden for over twenty years, and I have noticed that the litter  on the streets has increased dramatically in recent years. Being greeted by this rubbish  every morning when looking out the living room window is not a nice start to the day. So, I started to regularly remove at least the litter e that could be seen outside in the field of view of my living room window. One or the other Gaardener*in will understand me well if they read these lines. I had the idea of organizing and implementing a litter  collection campaign for this part of town for quite some time. I informed myself on the Internet about various links, how one accomplishes a waste  collecting action. In addition, I read a lot about wild rubbish  dumping and the negative consequences for the environment. It became clear to me that I wanted to do something concrete against these grievances.

The action

Hence, I decided on the route and the time. From my circle of friends and acquaintances I was able to convince four people to participate. A friend who lives around the corner from me was immediately willing to participate. He is also one of the district residents who no longer wants to put up with this littering and has become active. However, one participant also told me that it would be unpleasant for him to be perceived as a litter picker in public. Behind this are often fears and concerns that are not at all true!

But let us take it one step at a time. I contacted the responsible employee of the waste management company, Mrs. Voss, by telephone. Mrs. Voss was very helpful! She personally brought me the equipment (grabbers, waste bags and disposable gloves). And so, it started on a friendly autumn morning in October. I had only verbally communicated the course of the route to my fellow campaigners, which meant that I lost sight of part of the group. As often happens in life, things do not work out the way you think. Two of our groups had gone off on their own and fortunately had chosen the area that was also planned on the route. Henceforth  I learned to better provide the participants of an action with tangible information in advance. As soon as one of our team had a waste  bag full, I informed Ms. Voss by phone. It was important to tell her the location where we placed the waste  bags. If the dumped  bags were not picked up promptly, they could be misconstrued as an invitation to dump more trash. Ms. Voss then informed the city sanitation department for timely pickup. In the four hours of our waste  collection campaign, eight full 120-liter waste bags were collected. At the end of the campaign, I returned the equipment to the branch office of the waste management company in Preetzer Straße.

I would like to mention one area of our route in particular: It is the sidewalk between the Hans-Christian-Andersen-School and the high-rise building opposite. There, we were often approached by passers-by and received positive feedback about our action. Especially areas where children and young people spend time should litter-free ! Litter endangers health and pollutes the environment. Teaching children and young people to raise awareness  is an important social issue.

The waste  we collected was small to medium sized trash such as: cigarette butts, plastic bags, to a parked stroller. It is crazy what people throw away. I found a good condition set of glass coasters and small iron hooks that I now use in my kitchen. So at least that is a small contribution to actual sustainability.

The wild rubbish  makes itself scarce

The word sustainability is on everyone’s lips. But when I see the mountains of litter  in my district, there is little evidence of the meaning of this word. However, the planning and implementation of this waste  collection campaign gave me reason for hope. Implementing such an action is easier than I thought. Communication with the waste management company and the city cleaning department went smoothly. As already mentioned, we also had positive feedback from passers-by during the campaign. In the meantime, I have networked with some residents from my street. But this only came about because, as I said, I had also started to remove the litter from my front door a long time ago. This was noted by residents in my neighborhood, who in turn have now also become active. At the moment, I am still out and about once a week with friends in this part of town, trying to curb the wild waste . I hope that with this article I encourage  readers to accept the litter problem no longer passively. Because in the street where I live, the litter  has decreased significantly and visibly! So, it can be worthwhile to simply tackle the problems.

Info Box

Waste management employee Marion Voss is responsible when it comes to the equipment. Tel.: 0431-5854-177 Mail:

Kommunaler Ordnungsdienst (municipal law enforcement), is responsible when people are caught in the act of littering, or when there are indications of specific addresses of polluters. Tel.: 0431-2079 Mail:

App: Melde.Möwe: With this app, you can report grievances in the Kiel city area on your PC or via the app on your smartphone, either directly or sorted by, for reports the ABK can also be reached at Tel.: 0431-58540.

Here is another link on how to organize a trash collection campaign. Cleanup campaign complete