|Link to The Guardian 'Germany series'|
"Located in the south-western state of Rheinland-Pfalz and set in the heart of Palatinate wine-growing region, the predominantly middle-class, medieval town of Neustadt boasts the best recycling rates in Germany. Over the past 30 years, the town has nurtured and refined a system that means it now recycles about 70% of its waste – 16% higher than the state target. By comparison, UK recycling rates average about 40% – up from just 5% in the mid-1990s.
"At the recycling depot, one of the town's waste managers Stefan Weiss moves on to the subject of enforcement. Or rather, the lack of it.
"In theory, we have the power to fine people if they don't sort their waste. But we never do this because it costs too much to investigate. And we just don't have an issue with flytipping because we make the system so cheap and easy to use. We still get the odd complaint about the move to fortnightly collections, or that our bins are ugly, but that really is about it."