Podcast "We are TUM" – Transcript, eleventh episode

"Zero Waste doesn't mean no refuse; Zero Waste City means that Munich is to become a city which hardly wastes any more resources. This is Munich's contribution to sustainable development, and of course also to climate protection, especially if you consider the fact that every year Munich produces approximately 720,000 tons of municipal refuse. And processing this refuse costs about 212,000 tons of CO2-equivalents."

[Moderator Matthias Kirsch:] The woman we just heard explaining why Munich has to reduce the amount of trash it produces is Helga Seitz. She works for AWM, the city's waste management corporation (Abfallwirtschaftsbetrieb München) and wants the new Zero Waste concept to help make Munich more sustainable. In this episode Helga Seitz will tell us about how that can work and how we can better handle the refuse we generate in our everyday lives. Welcome to "We are TUM", the podcast by and for the Technical University of Munich. My name is Matthias Kirsch and I'll be guiding you through this podcast. By the way, this will be a special episode dedicated to a very specific topic: Sustainability. Accordingly, among other things in our "Cutting-Edge Research" segment we'll hear from two TUM architecture professors who won last year's German Sustainability Award. And now we'll start things off with university President Thomas Hofmann who will tell you about what else is in store in this episode.

[Präsident Thomas Hofmann:]
Welcome, dear listeners: How can we as a university become more sustainable? We at the Technical University of Munich are addressing this question with increasing intensity. Sustainability will play a central role in the future development of TUM. One important point in this context is anchoring the topic of sustainability in our minds. TUM will therefore be conducting its first TUM Sustainability Day in the fall. The Hidden Champion of this episode is someone for whom sustainability is an absolute passion. Tobias Michl is a Sustainability Manager and is the head of TU Munich's Sustainability Office. Then we'll hear from a young founder. Amelie Binder joined three colleagues to found the start-up "CargoKite". Their objective is truly ambitious: They want to build the container ship of the 21st century, self-propelling and driven entirely by wind power. In this episode the young entrepreneur will tell us exactly how that will work. And now I wish you an enjoyable listening experience with the latest episode of "We are TUM".

Cutting-Edge Research

[Kirsch:] The best way to make consumption of resources more sustainable is to avoid the consumption in the first place. That's why sustainability is also basically synonymous with simplicity. Two TUM architecture professors, Thomas Auer and Florian Nagler, wanted to demonstrate this fact in their research project Building Simply ("Einfach Bauen"). Then they turned the results of their project into reality. This earned them the 2021 German Sustainability Award in the category "Architecture" for their three radically simply constructed model houses in the Bavarian city of Bad Aibling. My colleague Fabian Dilger speaks with the two of them about what they dispensed with when building these three houses, about whether building simply is really less expensive and about what their research project has to do with 200 new residential spots for TUM students.

[Fabian Dilger:] Welcome, Professor Nagler, Professor Auer. We're glad you could join us.

[Florian Nagler:] Hello.

[Thomas Auer:] Good morning.

[Dilger:] Building and living in residential structures is not the same here as it is in other parts of the world. Is our point of view regarding residential space and quality of life sometimes too limited?

[Nagler:] I don't know if we're too limited, but we've gotten very used to what we've been surrounding ourselves with over the last decades, the last centuries. This is also of course a cultural development. For instance, we once did a project for an artist, a friend of mine, we designed a simple travel studio. And at the beginning we agreed that we'd design everything so that only the absolute bare minimum necessities were covered. And we did just that. He took it with him to Patagonia for six months and when he came back he said everything had worked perfectly, but we had made one huge mistake: Our idea of the absolute bare minimum necessities is simply very different from what other people in the world have to get by on. And that illustrated to me how we waste and consume the majority of the resources on the planet with our Central European, North American lifestyle.

[Auer:] That's completely right, I couldn't agree more. We always have to stay aware of that and we also have to remember that there's no entitlement that lets us consume more resources here than other people in the world do. Given all that, we of course immediately have to call our lifestyles critically into question.

[Dilger:] Where are we here in Germany? Where are we when we take a holistic look at the entire construction sector in terms of sustainability? Are we at the inception of a development, are we already further along or do we have a long marathon in front of us?

[Nagler:] I think we still have quite a long road ahead of us. We've been working on this topic for many years now and sometimes you could think, everyone is so far along… but then when you drive through the city and see how the houses and buildings are built, then as a rule you see steel-reinforced concrete structures from ground floor to the penthouse. So even in terms of our choice of construction materials, we still have an awful lot to do.

[Auer:] Looking at an international comparison, I'd say that the German-speaking countries have come the farthest up to now, but Florian Nagler is of course completely right, we still have a long marathon ahead of us. Nevertheless, we've still come pretty far compared to all the other regions of the world.

[Dilger:] In your research project you've built three model houses in Bad Aibling. What are the radically simple aspects of these model houses?

[Nagler:] Well, the three houses are radically simple in that we tried to reduce the number of layers which make up a wall or a ceiling or a panel to the absolute minimum. And we managed to get down to one layer. Take the concrete house for example: It consists of one layer of insulating concrete both outside and inside, you see the same wall from both sides and there are no further layers. Even the wooden house consists of one layer of wood and then in front of that there's a form which gives the wood constructional protection. The masonry house is one layer of bricks with a layer of plaster on the inside and the outside, extremely reduced.

And the technologies used are radically simple in these houses; we made an effort not to rely on technology, but rather on the things that architecture and a house and the structure can really do themselves. We've sort of ignored and forgotten that over the course of the last, I'd say, hundred years, in principle with the beginning of the modern era; we've forgotten to relate to what the location actually demands of us, what the respective climate zones require of us. In earlier times it was traditional for construction to simply always be related to the climate and executed using the materials which were at hand on location. And of course then also with an eye to how people used buildings like that, how they were used for economic purposes and so forth. This is how house landscapes emerged. The modern era and the international style have so to speak pushed this aside a little bit; people built the same way everywhere and that didn't always work out well in every location.

[Dilger:] Building Simply began as a research project, now it's turned into three houses. Put bluntly, did you just want to stir up the status quo of research a bit?

[Nagler:] If you want the results of research projects to reach humanity, you have to find a way to make sure lots of people notice them. And a research report with 300 pages on "Building Simply", well, it would end up gathering dust in a desk drawer somewhere. And in architecture it's all about building, and the best way to clearly express what you're trying to say is with a constructed example. We have to build houses so that we can show them later and so that people can live in them. Then you can monitor the outcomes, you can see how things work. You're not stuck in the purely theoretical. And we made sure that we found a construction principal who was willing to build these three houses, to finance them, commission the planning and to implement and apply all the findings generated by the research project in the houses.

[Auer:] It's very relevant for things to be implemented in research, in architecture. As Florian just pointed out, there are a lot of people who say for example that we have to start building in mono-materials again. We've rid the construction process of all these artificial sheets and films, but we also have to get rid of all these layers we've come to know and love over the last few decades, they all have their functions. That means if we want to get rid of all these layers once again, we have to show people how that's possible. How can we go back to mono-material construction? And we can only show how that works by building it. That's why we're tremendously grateful for the fact that Dr. Böhm gave us the opportunity to really demonstrate all this. The buildings have attracted a lot of attention, a lot of media coverage, because they've actually been constructed, people can go and look at them, touch them, feel them, enjoy the spatial experience, and that's all absolutely essential in architecture. And the ultimate reason we won the German Sustainability Award: A member of the jury told me the difference was that because this was research, we render all the knowledge transparent. And that's what science can achieve. Cutting-edge research, say, in architecture, in the constructed environment, has to be linked with realization. Having said that, in the university world applied research is often seen as, how shall I put it, as low-threshold research, seen rather critically. But it's essential in our field.

[Dilger:] Mr. Auer, now you can inspire a lot of people in Germany, after all "Simple Building" also means building less expensively.

[Auer:] That was the outcome. Sure, it will certainly be the case that we can once again build more economically. Fundamentally speaking I believe, or I'm convinced, that with Simple Building we can also build less expensively and the next step is, and we've been discussing this already with various chairs and professorships, with various providers in the market, the next step is a research project on the topic of Simply Renovating. This is because renovating existing structures, making them more energy-efficient, will be the great Herculean task of the next decades. And if we find simple solutions at this point, as the political sector is calling for and supporting, I think we're fulfilling an important assignment, also in terms of science.

[Dilger:] The Simple Building project is also coming to TUM, it's intended to have a very practical benefit for the students of TUM. What is happening there, where will it take place and how many people, how many students will ultimately benefit, most likely?

[Nagler:] Well, right now we're planning three research buildings at the Garching campus for the construction principal Munich Student Union. In the end 200 residential spots for students will also be made available. And we're trying to transfer the ideas from the research project in Bad Aibling to the next level. So there will also be three houses, one made of concrete, of insulating concrete, one made out of masonry and one made with solid wood.

[Dilger:] Professor Nagler, Professor Auer, thank you for speaking with us.

[Auer:] A pleasure.

Hidden Champion

[Kirsch:] Without the Hidden Champion of this episode there would presumably not be a Sustainability Day at TUM either. Tobias Michl has had a stronger impact on the topic of sustainability at TUM than anyone else. For two and a half years now Michl has been the TUM sustainability manager, the first one ever. Tobias Michl is a Graduated Geographer, he has worked in both the university and business sectors and now he wants to shake up TUM. It's high time, he says, since TUM is not the first in this area. Tobias Michl speaks with my colleague Clarissa Ruge about how he approaches this major challenge.

[Clarissa Ruge:] Hello, Tobias. We're holding our conversation today in September and on July 28th we already had Earth Overshoot Day. That means that as of late July humanity had already used up all the resources which would actually have been available to it for this calendar year. In your position as a sustainability manager, how does that make you feel as you approach the remainder of the year?

[Tobias Michl:] Most of all it's a feeling of responsibility. After all, I'm a sustainability manager at one of the most important technical universities. And I'd like to add: Yes, global Earth Overshoot Day was indeed July 28th, but the corresponding day for Germany already arrived on May 4th. That's of course the source of a certain amount of frustration. We should be bearing the responsibility of making the world better, but in fact we're accelerating this degradation of ecological and social, economic systems more and more. For us as TUM and for me personally this has two implications. First of all, our contributions to technological developments make as partially responsible for this development, that simply has to be accepted. Of course we can't make light of the many positive contributions. But we as a society and thus we as a university have simply grossly overdone it. And now we can either feel some regret about it or we can ignore the whole thing and keep on doing as we have in the past or we can keep our seats and look for ways to leverage all the opportunities and potentials we have here at TUM so that we can make use of them in a holistic and globally beneficial way.

[Ruge:] Nowadays sustainability, like digitalization and diversity, has almost become another big buzzword in our time. But we could also define sustainability as living today in a way that our children and grandchildren will have the same opportunities we have. Do you agree, or do you have another definition of your own?

[Michl:] That's of course the classic definition, about the same as the way it's formulated in in the United Nations baseline report, which was entitled at the time "Our Common Future". And this report has been around since 1987, so it's just as old as I am. In principle nothing about it has changed. Since then global relationships have become even more complex and the technological developments have become much faster. In particular at a university with its many different disciplines it's important that each of our disciplines develops a subject-specific understanding of sustainability. What does sustainability mean to me and to my subject area?

[Ruge:] You just mentioned a key concept. As sustainability manager at the TUM Sustainability Office you and your team are responsible for the orientation of the university. But what does that specifically mean? What will a sustainable TUM be like for example in 2030?

[Michl:] In its 2018 policy paper the German Conference of University Presidents speaks of a culture of sustainability which we have to establish at our universities. And that's exactly how a sustainable TUM 2030 will have to look. Sustainability has become mainstream. Sustainably is always taken into account and lived out in every decision, every project, every research proposal, in every course held. That's of course a very general formulation, but I really think it hits the heart of the matter. Sustainability has to be our paradigm, in all the fields of action we've defined for our sustainability strategy. These fields of action are Research, Education, including Lifelong Learning, Entrepreneurship, our Campus and our operations as a very important field, Governance and Engagement, as well as Communication and Knowledge Transfer. And Communication is exactly what we're doing today, right here, right now.

[Ruge:] Sustainability should always intermesh three different layers, so that all three are covered. I'm talking about the ecological, economic and social levels. Can you give us an example of a sustainability project at TUM that covers all three of these levels?

[Michl:] One very exciting example is our "CirculaTUM" network, a consortium of various scientists who come from entirely different backgrounds and who are working on the topic of Circular Economy. The ecological component is the actual research into ways to reduce consumption of resources. The economic component is that research keeps generating value added, and the social component would be that all production processes, and this is a major focus in the topic of Circular Economy, that the social aspects always have to play a role in all production processes. One key concept here would be transparent supply chains.

[Ruge:] There are already plenty of projects at TUM concerned with sustainability. The list is really long, especially when you look at the individual TUM locations. But are the beehive, the project for more office plants or the vegetable garden for students taken individual really important or is it really about anchoring a culture of sustainability at as many points as possible…? What do you think?

[Michl:] Well, these little projects of course won't be changing the world directly. And probably, if we just look at the numbers, for example on greenhouse gas emissions, they don't even change the performance of our university. But what they can indeed achieve, and that's very important to me, is making a decisive contribution to the culture of sustainability we mentioned before. These topics are very present in the everyday working and learning worlds and maybe someday, hopefully, they'll be ubiquitous. It's about living out the whole thing and creating a mindset. And it can all have a very important role in the impact on society. We already mentioned the topic of knowledge transfer. Since you mentioned the bees before, let's take as an example our new TUM Bee Paradise project in Weihenstephan, which just got started. Who's going to read a scientific report on the importance of wild bees and how we can support them? Nobody, except the scientific community itself. But if we can implement something on the TUM campus, installing nesting plants for these bees right now, postponing the time we mow our fields, etc., if we can communicate that in a generally understandable way with display boards and things like that and offer excursions, then it will all really have an impact. For example, when the citizens in Freising really implement all that in their own back yards.

[Ruge:] I'll just mention, with scare quotes, "just one" Sustainability Office. That certainly won't be enough to get everyone on board for the topic. We also need multipliers and ambassadors who address people and make them enthusiastic. Who do you think are the right people for such an important message, famous personalities or dedicated foot soldiers?

[Michl:] I always say, my colleagues and I in the Sustainability Office don't make TUM one bit more sustainable. We all have to work together, all of us here at this great university. And that means we need both types, we need the famous people as well as foot soldiers. Ideal multipliers are of course honestly committed people, as famous as possible, since they have the function of a role model and can achieve especially high impacts. But on the whole, we can only manage this feat of strength together, making sustainability a mainstream at TUM.

[Ruge:] Tobias, thank you for joining us.

[Michl:] My pleasure.

The Young Perspective

[Kirsch:] Sustainability and globalization are two concepts which are frequently pitted against one another. Why? If we are to bring goods to all the four corners of the earth, we need airplanes, trucks and ships; and they are all bad for the environment. Take for example container ships. Weighing several tons, these CO2-pollution factories are at the same time responsible for an enormous amount of global trade. Around 90 percent of worldwide trade is conducted using sea routes. There has to be a solution here, a couple of former TUM students thought, and founded the start-up "CargoKite". Their idea: Build the container ship of the 21st century. I'm going to find out what that's all about in a conversation with CargoKite co-founder Amelie Binder. Ms. Binder, you say the world is dependent on worldwide shipping, although shipping is not sustainable. How do you and your "CargoKite" co-founders want to solve this problem?

[Amelie Binder:] Well, there are many ways to first of all render emissions more transparent and measurable in the first place, including on container ships. We think it's not enough to try to solve the problem from the bottom up, instead we've developed an entirely new class of ship which is no longer driven by fossil fuels, but rather exclusively using wind energy. That's why the ships operate 100 percent sustainably, since they don't generate any emissions at all.

[Kirsch:] When we think of the traditional container ship, we usually see these gargantuan things, really gigantic ships. As you already said, they're powered with fossil energies, with oil, diesel and things like that. What's the big problem with these container ships?

[Binder:] Their size alone entails several disadvantages, but as far as the topic of sustainability is concerned, that's not the problem in and of itself. Just the opposite, calculated per container transported, the larger a container ship is, the more efficient it is: Less fuel is consumed per container. But the fuel the ship uses, heavy crude oil for the most part – over 80 percent of these ships run on heavy crude oil – is to be honest nothing but the filthy leftovers from oil refineries which no other industry is allowed to use at all. The container ship industry is allowed to use heavy crude and does, causing a substantial amount of emissions.

[Kirsch:] Researchers assume that container ships or the shipping industry is responsible for about three percent of global CO2 emissions. But ships have been around for centuries, that's really not a new concept. What's new, what's revolutionary about the technology you want to use or develop in your project?

[Binder:] We like to refer to the sailing ship of the 21st century, but actually this isn't a conventional sail on a mast, as high as a maximum of 50 meters, instead it's a kite sail which practically replaces the drive, the diesel engine. And this kite sail flies several hundred meters in the air and pulls the ship along behind it – and at the same time the sail generates electricity, so that the on-board electrical systems are supplied with power. In case of a storm or a when there is no wind at all, a battery with an electric motor, which the kite also feeds during normal operations, can take over. As a result, we can basically run entirely with wind energy, we're completely energy-independent and don't even need a charging infrastructure for the electric motor. That's how it works.

[Kirsch:] So you want to fly a kite in front of the ship like a kite surfer or a windsurfer. What are the advantages of a kite like that compared to a normal sail?

[Binder:] That's a good question. The higher you go in the atmosphere, the more constant and more dense wind becomes. This means that at 300 meters in altitude, the wind in which this kite will fly can be best expressed in terms of a probability of occurrence . Wind at 300 meters altitude has a global 95 percent probability of occurring, not only in certain areas. At 50 meters, which is about the maximum height of conventional sails, you have about a fifty-fifty chance, sometimes there's wind, sometimes there's not. And as far as reliability is concerned, today it's no longer conceivable in the world economy to factor in such a tremendous uncertainty. Reliability is the second most important criterion for customers. That means you can't cut corners there and that's the big difference, that's why we're using kite sails.

[Kirsch:] A naïve question, how big will a kite have to be in order to be able to pull the inconceivable weight of an enormous ship like that?

[Binder:] There are different models here too; there is a fundamental distinction between kites which are rigid, referred to as hard kites and resemble lightweight airplanes, and soft kites which resemble the kites we're familiar with from kite surfing, i.e. a sheet with lines attached. And to stick with this kite surfing kite, with the largest models currently being produced we're talking about a thousand square meters. So these are really big kites…

[Kirsch:] Yes, it's hard to conceive of something like that on the ground; probably flying 300 meters over the ocean that's probably not as big as we think. But now I have to ask, do you yourself have any experience with for example kite surfing or with kites and sailing at all? How did you come up with the idea of putting a giant kite in front of a container ship? Where's the idea from?

[Binder:] It came from one of my co-founders, Marcus Bischoff, who has himself been a passionate kite surfer for 20 years and who saw that it would be possible to use a kite sail to drive a ship. Armed with the knowledge, knowing the forces which are at work there, which move such a small kite surfer, he addressed the question of how to use the enormous power of the kite even better. In principle, a kite placed on a giant container ship like that can help save fuel. This force can simply be much better translated into forward propulsion, into speed for the ship. Put very simply, that's what we're doing.

[Kirsch:] Now we're familiar with these container ships. Most of us have either seen them from afar on the open sea or stood beside them in the port, looking up and thinking, this is like a skyscraper. These ships are really enormous. I looked it up, currently the largest container ship in the world is 400 meters long and can carry something more than 23,000 stacked containers while darting across the sea. How big can we imagine the ship you want to build with CargoKite? And how many containers will it be able to carry?

[Binder:] Well, to stay with the size of 400 meters, our ship is actually around about ten percent of that, the first series model will be between 40 and 50 meters long. And in terms of container volumes we're talking about a planned and fairly accurate figure of 16 containers which would fit on this ship. That means if you do the quick math, you'll need a whole lot of CargoKite ships to replace the large container ship, and this is indeed a question we're looking at very closely from the business point of view. Does it make sense to operate ships at this size? This is a question we had to ask ourselves at the very beginning. And we came to a clear answer: Yes. In particular because the volume of an individual container fits to what an individual company, even companies like IKEA or Tchibo, really very, very big companies, transport on an individual ship. This isn't just a few containers.

This means the entire effort involved in consolidating hundreds and thousands of orders, all that work was accepted by the shipping company for one reason: Because scaling in size has in the past been the best way to optimize costs. The container ship industry is primarily cost-driven. If we now no longer have fuel expenses and are therefore competitive in terms of cost – even competitive with very large container ships – then we can make it possible to build small ships and give control over when a ship sails and from where to where back to the customers. And right now nobody is saying "No, thanks" to this extra opportunity to control their own supply chains…

[Kirsch:] That's right. Of course right now there are difficulties with supply chains everywhere in the world. There are many container ships floating idly in bottlenecks at large ports. If we assume the best of all possible cases and your model would win out, then in spite of everything, you would need a very large number of CargoKites at sea in order to handle as much commercial transportation as is currently taking place. To stay with the topic of sustainability, is it really ultimately more sustainable to build so many ships, make so many kites which will all use a certain material? Is that then really more sustainable?

[Binder:] The fact that the majority share of the emissions is generated during the operation of a ship means it is definitely more sustainable. And in terms of material, well, I don't want to say it saves materials. In any case you'd be building more ships, but the ship itself is no more or less harmful to the environment than any other ship. And in particular the kite technologies, by comparison, are already being used to generate electricity on land, which is in part where this kite technology is from. And compared for example to wind turbines, they're much more efficient in terms of materials. And that's really one of the big advantages of this kite technology.

[Kirsch:] Then we'll wait and see if in ten or twenty years we may have lots of CargoKites sailing over the world's oceans. We wish you the best of luck and continued success. Thank you for taking the time to speak with us.

[Binder:] Thank you for having me.

Five Tips

[Kirsch:] We'll conclude today's special episode of "We are TUM" on the topic of sustainability as always with our segment on "Five Tips". Today the topic is recycling and why the best refuse is the refuse which never occurs in the first place. I'm speaking with Helga Seitz, a member of the "Zero Waste" working group at the Munich waste management corporation. Among other things, she works on the question of how a major city can be waste-free. Hello, Ms. Seitz.

[Helga Seitz:] Hello.

[Kirsch:] Ms. Seitz, today you've brought us five specific tips on how we can deal with our trash more efficiently and more sustainably in our everyday lives. But before we get to the actual tips, a different question: What exactly is the concept of Zero Waste and what exactly does the city of Munich plan to do with it?

[Seitz:] The Munich City Council adopted the Zero Waste concept in late July, on behalf of the mayor. Zero Waste doesn't mean no refuse; Zero Waste City means that Munich is to become a city which hardly wastes any more resources. This is Munich's contribution to sustainable development, and of course also to climate protection, especially if you consider the fact that every year Munich produces approximately 720,000 tons of municipal refuse, 43 percent of which is residual refuse. And processing this refuse costs about 212,000 tons of CO2-equivalents. In the Zero Waste concept, which is to be implemented starting in 2023, very specific goals were defined relating to the reduction of the amount of refuse generated.

[Kirsch:] That sounds like a very detailed concept. Recycling and sustainability are actually topics we want to constantly integrate in our everyday lives. So you have five very specific tips for our listeners on how they can make recycling and sustainability a part of their everyday routines. Tell us about the tips…


[Seitz:] Of course everybody can do something every day to conserve resources and be a part of the Zero Waste concept. And of course the first tip is to avoid generating refuse wherever possible. Because the best refuse is the refuse which never arises in the first place. So the first thing I can do is to take a critical look at my own consumption habits: What goods do I really need, what clothing, maybe I don't need so much. And when I buy something, maybe there's an option with the least possible packaging or with packaging which is more environmentally friendly.


The second tip. If it's not possible to avoid generating trash, then be sure to separate your trash. Recyclables can only be recycled properly when they've been separated and that's the only way recycling can really save resources. Waste paper is very easy to recycle, that goes into our blue trash can. It will be turned into recycled paper. And our bio-waste will be turned into green electricity and compost, which then becomes our famous Munich Potting Soil. The only thing we incinerate or use for thermal energy in Munich is the residual waste which goes into the gray trash can. This means we use it to generate electricity and district heating. Residual waste should really only contain what really can no longer be reclaimed.


And here's a tip on separating your refuse: We buy pizza in a pizza box. The pizza box can be recycled in the paper container as long as it's very clean. But if it's still contaminated with a lot of food, then it belongs in the residual waste bin and thus can no longer be recycled. This means it's a good idea while eating to make sure to keep the pizza box as clean as possible so that it can be thrown into the blue bin for paper recycling.


The fourth tip is on yoghurt cups. They're very popular, and they don't have to be rinsed out, the plastic yoghurt cups. This saves water, it's enough to scrape out the cup with a spoon, please just pull off the aluminum foil top and don't stack the cups in one another, since then the sorting machine has trouble processing them. In general with plastic: Only plastic which is separated very carefully according to material type can really be recycled. That means avoid plastic packaging refuse completely whenever possible.


The fifth tip: Glass. Please separate glass according to color. Some people thing, OK, when the truck picks up the containers it all gets mixed up again anyway, we've all seen it on the street, the container bottom swings open and everything falls into the truck. But these trucks are equipped with three different sections, one for each glass color. Separation by color is also very important later in the recycling process. So those were five tips on avoiding and separating refuse. You can also read all this and more on our web site at www.awm-muenchen.de/. Here you can always read about what can be best separated and where to put it and you'll also find all kinds of information relating to waste disposal and ways to avoid creating waste, for example information on our second-hand department store "Halle 2", an overview of second-hand stores, of swap meets and flea markets in and around Munich, so that every one of us will find it easy to avoid generating waste.

[Kirsch:] Okay, so now we've learned a great deal about recycling and salvaging the value of our refuse. And I have to very honestly admit, I didn't know we don't have to rinse out yoghurt cups, and that's especially important these days when saving water is a topic we're all concerned about, also with regard to the coming fall season. Ms. Seitz, thank you very much for these specific tips, all the best for the Zero Waste concept.

[Seitz:] Thank you very much.

[Kirsch:] And that's it for this episode of "We are TUM". In the next episode we'll once again be showcasing TUM's cutting-edge research, student life and we'll be speaking with all those who make TU Munich the unique place that it is. This has been "We are TUM". This episode was produced by Fabian Dilger, Clarissa Ruge, ProLehre Medienproduktion and by me, Matthias Kirsch. Sound design and post-production by Marco Meister at Edition Meister in Berlin. That's all until the next episode. Make sure to join us and discover the big and little secrets of the Technical University of Munich!


Technical University of Munich
Dr. phil. Clarissa Ruge
Creative Director Image & Presidential Events

Tel. +49 89 289 25769
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