Thursday, April 05, 2012

The Viernheim Table and the soft drink bottle deposit

Viernheimer Tafel (Viernheim Table) is a social project organised by the Catholic Church and the town of Viernheim. The organisation collects groceries that are just about to go out of date and otherwise unsaleable but edible food from local supermarkets and distributes this to people living on Hartz IV, the basic long term unemployment and social security payment in Germany. One of us helps occasionally as a collector of, for example, yesterday's vegetables,  bread and bakery products, Easter eggs from next Tuesday (This blog is being written on Gründonnerstag/Maundy Thursday, the day before Good Friday.) and in one case broken packets of soft drink bottles. A few days ago we wrote about people collecting bottles left by others to supplement their Hartz IV income. See "Deposits on soft drink and beer bottles in Germany". The supermarkets (Aldi, Lidl, Penny, REWE, Alnatura) and wholesalers concerned give the goods to Tafel free, gratis and for nowt, but the organisation has to pay the wholesaler, at least for the cost of the deposits on the bottles. Whether the recipients of the soft drinks pay for their bottles, I have yet to find out.

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