It’s very common that we have to throw out some of the unused or old clothes and also shoes. There are few possibilities to dispose of it. It is very common in Germany to throw unused or old clothes and shoes in a container.

Old cloth container (Altkleider Container)

You can find two different types of containers in most of the places.

  • Spend
  • Trash (recycle)

Unfortunately, it’s not very common to find both types of containers in the same place.


It is possible to spend dresses. There are few organizations like the German Red Cross. The city also donates most of the clothes to those in need. The easiest way to spend is to throw your unused dresses in the container which are located at many places.


The damaged clothes collected from these containers are recycled for further use. You can also dispose of the torn clothes in the container. This can then be processed into insulating materials or industrial cleaning cloths in the recycling company.


Sometimes it will be mentioned that you should place only the good wearable dresses for spending. Kindly read the instruction on the container before throwing the clothes or shoes.

How can you find the container?

You can find the container for dress on many streets. Sometimes you can also find it near to the parking lot of the supermarkets. Those containers belong to the city or one of the non-profit organizations like the German Red Cross (Deutsches Rotes Kreuz – DRK).

In general, you can find this information on your city website. Apart from that, you can also find the DRK container details by providing your postal code in the below link.

Which clothes or shoes you can spend?

It’s good to throw out the dresses which are not heavily damaged. You can put the following clothes in the container.

  • Dresses
  • Table clothes
  • Bedspread & coverlets
  • Blankets
  • Pillows
  • Curtains
  • Belt
  • Bag
  • Shoes

If a cloth is heavily damaged due to oil stains or colors, it is better not to throw it out in the container. You should not put the following clothes in the container.

  • Oil stained cloth
  • Color stained cloth
  • Not usable cloths
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Textile waste (cut material)
  • Not usable shoes
  • Rubber boots

How to place it in a container?

It is also good to put it in a cover or bag and dispose of it. Do not just throw the clothes without packing them. Throw your shoes only as a pair and tie them together. It is also better to pack or put it on a separate cover. In general, you can see a separate container for shoes.

Where can you dispose of other clothes?

If you have clothes with like oil or color stains, you can dispose of them in the residual waste (restmüll) which you have in your home. You should trash the underwear and the waste socks only in the residual waste (restmüll).

What you should do if the container is full?

It is quite common to see tht the containers are full. If the dress or shoe continers are full, do not keep the clothes or shoes near the continer. Instead search for the next container near your place. If you do not find anything, get those back to your house and dispose it of later. The reason is quite simple, the clothes get dirty or wet which are unusable.

Alternative to the container

Apart from the container, there are many possibilities to spend, dispose of or sell the clothes.

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