Sunday, September 02, 2012


I hate the Leergut-Automat. Or, I hate using the Leergut-Automat. The principle is alright. It's a reverse vending machine at the grocery store where you return your glass and plastic bottles and get your deposit ("Pfand" in German) back.

Put your bottle into the machine. It gets scanned. The deposit is calculated and your bottle is whisked away to be presumably recycled. Put the next bottle in. When you're done, press the big button and get a receipt which you can use as cash at the grocery store where you just returned the bottles.

Sometimes you have to put a bottle in twice if it doesn't scan the first time. Sometimes the bottle is rejected because maybe that machine doesn't take that brand. If you put the bottle in backwards a loud alarm sounds. If the machine is full, an alarm sounds, and a not-so-friendly clerk has to come and clear the machine. There is almost always a queue. Sometimes you have more than five bottles. And most especially, almost always the people in line behind you are impatient. The little hut or room where the machine is located is also the land of beer drinkers and beer bottles and it stinks.

I hate using the Leergut-Automat. It's... stressful.


Blogger Dr. Confused said...

For all of the above reasons, coupled with lack of language facility, this aspect of Berlin living struck me as potentially nightmarish. Luckily, my local Kaiser's has it inside the store proper, and the machine seems well-calibrated.

9/13/2012 10:19 p.m.  
Anonymous Gina said...

Your comment about the smell brought back memories of doing this in Copenhagen. I also remember disliking the sticky floors. It was never not sticky.

10/05/2012 4:49 a.m.  

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