Trashy slogans in Berlin

Somebody at the Berlin Street Cleaning Company BSR is quite creative about inventing slogans to be put on the street-side trash receptacles.

The one in my first photo is a variant of a German saying that also exists in English. In German is goes Was du heute kannst besorgen, das verschiebe nicht auf morgen. (= Don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today.) But on the trash can they changed the word besorgen (take care of) to entsorgen (dispose of).

Wow! Wow!

“Wow! Wow!” is what dogs say in Germany, unlike English speaking dogs that say “Bow Wow”. The rest of the text on this trash can reads: “Magnificent, the way you bagged the business of your four-legged friend and disposed of it with us.”

We’ll give your cigarette butt a home.

But my favorite slogan is one that I neglected to take a picture of: Corpus für alle delicti — a play on words with the legal term corpus delicti, which is something that proves a crime has taken place, for instance a dead body. But on a trash bin it means a container (corpus) for all the things you want to get rid of. The slogan is also meant to echo the German phrase Mann für alle Fälle, meaning a man for all situations, like an all-round handyman.

On all the trash bins there is another line at the bottom that reads: So orange ist nur Berlin, which means “Only Berlin is this orange” — which at first I thought was just a joke since the bins are all painted green, but it turns out that all the BSR trucks are orange, their website is orange, their posters are orange and all their employees are dressed in orange.

Another one of their slogans looks and sounds almost like English: We kehr for you!

The German word kehr is pronounced like the English word care (sort of), but means “sweep”. So the slogan means not only “We care for you” but also “We sweep for you.”

Museum of Modern Trash

In 2016 we found this one on the “Museum Island” in the center of Berlin. Unusually, the bin is orange, not green, and the slogans are in English.   

My photos in this post are from 2009 and 2016. I revised the text in 2020.

See also: Trashy slogans in Vienna.

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