Berlin – the Berlin City Cleaning Service twinkles with one eye

Again, at Berlin in August 2022, I enjoy their eye twinkling. One example is the BSR, the Berlin City Cleaning Service (Berliner Stadtreinigungsbetriebe). They are orange, and they do twinkle with at least one eye.  

This garbage collection truck is called “Rollmüllpschen”. The City Cleaning Service BSR has created this word. 

Rollmüllpschen? “Müll” stands for garbage, “müllpschen” sounds a bit like “rülpsen” (“to burp”). Perhaps the truck burps, when “rolling up” garbage, – perhaps, I am not sure. Anyway, “Rollmüllpschen” sounds somewhat friendly with the diminutive “schen” at the end.

Later, I come across “Abfuhr mit Happy End”. This is a German play of words. “Abfuhr” means “garbage collection”, but it can also indicate that a lover has refused his/her partner creating an unhappy end. However, this refuse disposal of BSR creates a happy end by leaving the street clean, after having collected the garbage.

Garbage collections usually come every week. “Wannse’n wir uns wieder? Na, jede Woche.” = “When do we see one another again? Well, every week”. However, “Wannsee’n wir uns” is a phonetic transcription; the correct spelling would be “Wann sehen wir uns….”. “Wannsee’n wir uns” alludes to the Wannsee of Berlin, a Berlinese transcription thought up by one of the BSR employees. 

When exploring eye twinklings last year, I came across the “Räumschiff” alluding to a Raumschiff (=space shuttle).”Räumen” means clearing, hence this is a “clearing shuttle”. Another German play of words.

In addition, the BSR runs vacuum cleaners for the streets, and, very appropriately, this one announces “Ich bin die mit dem Putzfimmel”, which translates to “I am the one with the mania for cleaning”.

Another hobby of the Berlin Garbage Service BSR are the wastebins. This “Kippendiener” or “fag servant” is very full and waits to be emptied. 

All waste bins in Berlin have a humorous label inviting passers-by to throw their rubbish away carefully.

Curious, I google for the Berliner Stadtreinigungsservice BSR and land on their orange home site https://www.bsr.de/ , where they lay out their services and fees. In addition, they have some shops. The BSR shop https://www.bsr.de/bsr-shop-19869.php sells waste disposal products and their Second Hand Shop Nochmall sells things you would throw away (nochmal = once more, with “mall” alluding to a shopping mall (https://www.nochmall.de/ ). They even sell the Keinachtsbaum https://keinachtsbaum.de/unser-shop/ (“kein Weihnachstbaum” abbreviated to “Keinachtsbaum” =“not a Christmas tree”).

Such a clever Website full of humour is provided by the City Cleaning Service BSR! And you come across their orange humour everywhere in the city. This is also Berlin.

One thought on “Berlin – the Berlin City Cleaning Service twinkles with one eye

  1. Brilliant! The street cleaners and rubbish collectors of the world are real heros and I love the idea than Berlin has its own genre of bin humour. Thank you for this!😀

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