16 districts are taking part in the first Munich World Garbage Championship – Munich

Lilia sees it first. The giant cloud heart. A small plane is painting it in the blue sky. It’s just after twelve. The Oktoberfest is open. But the eight-year-old doesn’t really care about the 188th Oktoberfest at the moment. The fully filled gray garbage bags are much more important to her. She and her friend of the same age are taking part in the first Munich garbage championship. And the more they collect, the better.

16 city districts will be cleaned up for global “Cleanup Day” on September 16th. Around 400 people take part. Whether plastic or glass, cigarette butts or bottle caps – everything is collected, neatly separated and then made available for collection. The world championship was initiated by Rehab Republic, an association that wants to promote greater awareness of a sustainable environment. That’s where all the threads come together, as co-initiator Janine Malz explains, because the Cleanup Munich project brings together all the waste collection initiatives that exist. “We can do more together,” says the 38-year-old, who is active on the Green Party’s local board in Giesing.

Political demands have already been made to the city of Munich as to how they could do more when it comes to waste. “For example, we would like there to be a representative in Munich who is responsible for the cleanup initiatives,” says Malz. Or that there are more trash cans in the city. Colorful maybe. With good sayings. Simply as an incentive, as Malz hopes, to dispose of the garbage properly and not throw it somewhere.

Only a small group of ten people is starting for Schwabing-Freimann. Christina Smith, who has lived in Freimann with her husband for eight years, is taking part in a cleanup for the first time. “I just want my neighborhood to be clean,” she says, handing out 60 liter garbage bags and gloves. Some head to Schwabinger Bach, others to a public parking lot on Sondermeierstrasse.

There are condoms and stockings in the bushes

There’s always a lot of rubbish lying around here, says Xenia, Lilia’s mother. And that’s true. No matter which corner you look in: cigarette packs, fast food packaging, handkerchiefs in the bushes, condoms, injection utensils, underpants, stockings, wigs. Someone just threw their rubble onto the gravel. There are lots of little blue tiles lying around. Broken cars are also left in the parking lot, says Xenia, who lives in the area. And never picked up again.

“This is so disgusting,” Lilia shouts, pulling an old cleaning rag out of the gravel with her pointed fingers. Your friend collects bottle caps. “I don’t understand why people just leave everything behind,” she says, and Lilia agrees. “If this continues, the world will be a big heap of rubbish.” At school they were just learning how to separate waste properly, the eight-year-old continues. It is important to her that the school yard is clean. So pick up trash there too. This Saturday, three large garbage bags are full in no time. The other group also collects well. Curiosity? A soup ladle. Somewhere along the Schwabinger Bach.

Co-initiator Markus Mitterer’s cargo bike has boxes in which the garbage can be separated.

(Photo: Stephan Rumpf)

Markus Mitterer, co-founder of Rehab Rebublic, wears leather trousers. Suitable for the first Saturday of Oktoberfest. The 38-year-old hops on his large cargo bike with a music box and lots of boxes for waste separation. “With this campaign we simply want to motivate people to notice waste,” he says. It’s also about people in the city taking more care of their own surroundings and their own neighborhood.

The group that follows him is large. In total, an estimated 80 people came to the Olympic Village to collect garbage in Milbertshofen. Equipped with large wooden tweezers, grippers, bags and small plastic flower pots for bottle caps or cigarette butts, we get started. The mood is good. It’s more fun with music, says a young man, keeping his eyes on the floor.

"Cleanup Day": A handful of butts: One butt can contaminate up to 1000 liters of water with nicotine.

A handful of butts: One butt can contaminate up to 1000 liters of water with nicotine.

(Photo: Stephan Rumpf)

Maya Kolls, 40, has her hand full of butts. “Once you collect this,” she says, “you won’t throw away cigarette butts anymore.” She believes that the garbage problem cannot be left to the city alone. A study says that just one cigarette butt can contaminate up to 1,000 liters of water with nicotine, says Mitterer. That’s why he has a plastic container on the cargo bike as a kind of measuring column. The highest level is 6000 cigarettes. Will they get the measuring cup full? Everyone throws the collected butts in here. After an hour there are already more than 1000.

"Cleanup Day": Shagufa Haidary lives in Milbertshofen and comes from Afghanistan.  She also collects trash in her neighborhood.

Shagufa Haidary lives in Milbertshofen and comes from Afghanistan. She also collects trash in her neighborhood.

(Photo: Stephan Rumpf)

Getting involved as a citizen – that’s the reason for many people to get involved. Whether they win something or not. Because of course: no World Cup without a prize. The best team can win a circulation cabinet including an inauguration party with live music and free drinks. The first Munich garbage master will be on Tuesday via zoom determined in five categories. In which district did the most people take part? Who collected the most 60 liter bags? The strangest find, the heaviest individual item, is also evaluated. And: whoever collected the most butts.

One district is already doing well on Saturday evening. Giesing collected four kilos of butts at Bahnhofsplatz. And 20,000 bottle caps. That corresponds to 40 kilos. As far as the heaviest find is concerned, the 27 kilo track junction boxes from Giesing could also end up being record-breaking. However, Riem has a great chance when it comes to the strangest find: a silver dental crown was collected.

source site