Have you ever wondered when you're allowed to take out your recycling in Germany?? Yeah, I hadn't either.
As indicated on the recycling bins (and taught to me in German class), at these times you are forbidden from throwing away your glass recycling:
When I found this out, my immediate reaction was very combative. My inner American was shouting, "Nobody will tell me when I can and can't recycle! I will recycle whenever I please, thank you very much!" Of course, I actually do follow these rules, because fundamentally I'm a rule-follower and I'm afraid of pissing off my neighbors. But I find it weird!! The Germans have a reputation for having rules for everything***, and this is one stereotype that that I find to be pretty accurate.
One one level I get it. Throwing away glass into a bin full of glass makes noise. Our recycling bins are in the courtyard between all the apartments, and no one wants to be woken up in the middle of the night to the sound of breaking glass. But I am a considerate person and wouldn't be taking out my recycling in the middle of the night anyway! So I hardly think there needs to be a rule for this. The post-lunchtime quiet-time break is the most mystifying to me. Is it because children are napping? Germans don't take a siesta. And the Sunday thing - well, this is the prohibition that cramps my style the most, and is also very German. I will have more to say about Sundays in another post.
***A notable exception: the lack of a speed limit on the Autobahn. Is it ironic that I can drive 150 km/hr down the highway without breaking any rules, but if I throw away my glass on a Sunday I'm in trouble?? I think so.