Hasta la mista, baby? How to vote for your favourite Vienna trash can joke

The Austrian capital is updating its set of funny one-liners on the city's trash cans. Here are the contestants and how to vote.

vienna trash cans and worker
Trash cans with funny sayings in Vienna (Photo: MA 48 / Christian Houdek)

Austria’s capital is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities in the world. But even Vienna has trouble making trash cans look like more than just grey eyesores. 

Instead, the city has created funny stickers of one-liners with double meanings, Austrian jokes and wordplay using German sounds and vocabulary – all the while encouraging people to put their litter in the bin. 

Some require a high level of German, while others will elicit a chuckle from those with a very basic level of the language. 

One of the first to start appearing on Vienna streets said ‘Hasta la mista, baby?’ (Do you have trash, baby?), a joke using the German word for ‘trash’ (Mist) and the famous Terminator quote ‘hasta la vista, baby’ (which itself is a play on the Spanish ‘hasta la vista’ which means ‘goodbye’).  

The joke gets an even deeper meaning once you remember (did you forget already?) that former US governor/robot from the future Arnold Schwarzenegger is an Austrian. 

The funny sayings on the public trash cans have been a part of the Vienna cityscape since 2009, and there are more than 18,000 waste units in the city, according to the MA 48, Vienna’s waste management and street-cleaning authority.

The contestants

Now, Vienna is looking for a new addition to the funny bunch, and the city’s MA48 waste and refuge service is throwing several contests on Facebook to pick the winner. 

You can vote using different emojis. 

The heart emoji votes for something that could be translated as “chilling instead of littering” (excuse our attempts, double-meaning language jokes are almost impossible to translate).

The care emoji votes for “Next stop: trashcan”. 

At the time of writing, the fan-favourite is a joke with the sound of the word “trash” in German, which is similar to part of the word “family” in the language. The translation would be “I am part of the family”. 

The runner up can be translated as: “I missed you”, also joking with the German word Mist for trash.

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Results for this round (there are others!) should be out this Friday when Vienna residents will know which witty one-liner will join others, such as “Open for you around the clock”.

Or “one of 18,000 branches”:

There’s no lack of sentences, but one thing is for sure: Ganz Wien Bleibt Clean (All of Vienna will remain clean – it sounds better in German, trust us).

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Donauinselfest: What you need to know about Austria’s biggest open air festival

Austria has the largest free open-air festival in Europe, and the Donauinselfest is taking place this weekend. Here is what you need to know.

Donauinselfest: What you need to know about Austria's biggest open air festival

The Austrian Donauinselfest is known as the largest free open-air music festival in Europe, and it happens yearly on Vienna’s Danube island. The festival attracts around three million visitors over its three days of events and is starting on Friday in the Austrian capital.

The festival has been taking place yearly since 1983 on the 21.1-kilometre river island. This year, it has 14 different areas and 11 stages, according to the official website. Visitors can expect more than 600 hours of program.

READ ALSO: The best festivals and events to enjoy in Austria this summer

Here is what you need to know to enjoy the programme fully.

When and where is the festival?

The festival has an extensive range of events starting on Friday, June 24th, and lasting until Sunday, June 26th. It takes place on the island between the new Danube and the Danube rivers, known as the Donauinsel.

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It is easily accessible via the U1 (Donauinsel station) and U6 (Handelskai station) metro and there are no parking spaces available near the festival site.

Admission to the event is free.

The festival is back after the pandemic

After two years of reduced capacity and many Covid-19 restrictions, the Donauinselfest is back to (almost) normal. There is no limit to the number of visitors, no requirement to show proof of vaccination or recovery from the disease, and no mask mandate.

However, the authorities have asked that people take “personal responsibility” as coronavirus infection numbers have been rising.

READ ALSO: Five of the best things to do in Vienna this summer

The organisers have requested people to get tested before visiting the vast festival, reported.

People gather on the shores of the Danube river, in Vienna during a hot sunny day and Danube Day on June 29, 2012. AFP PHOTO / ALEXANDER KLEIN

“We ask everyone who would like to visit the Donauinselfest this year to take a PCR or rapid test in advance and thus protect themselves and others. People with symptoms are not allowed to enter the festival grounds.”, said organiser Matthias Friedrich.

Though masks are not mandatory, they are recommended on-site if it is too full of people and no social distancing is possible. Besides, there is a masks requirement to all Donauinselfest workers in indoor areas.

Watch out for what you cannot bring

There is an extensive list of things that are not allowed on the festival site. For example, visitors are not allowed to take large bags and backpacks (“A3 format”, according to the website). However, a gym bag is not considered a backpack.

Animals, including dogs, are prohibited – except for guide dogs and service dogs.

You are also not allowed to bring umbrellas, alcoholic beverages, cans, glass bottles, or drones. The list of prohibited items includes “propaganda material”, spray bottles, whistles, large or bulky objects, bicycles and skateboards, stools and chairs, food and more.

Check out the complete list here.

Danube festival

Vienna’s “Danube-island” Festival will return this weekend. (Photo by DIETER NAGL / AFP)

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You can – and should – bring plenty of water and sunscreen, as temperatures are expected to be around the 30Cs over the next few days.

What kind of music is there?

The festival has several stages and a broad programme selection. The bands are usually more regional, with a significant presence of Austrian, German, and Italian bands.

You can find all sorts of music, from pop to rock, rap, and techno. There are even tribute bands like Break Free, which will play Queen’s best signs on the rock stage.

The program includes other activities as well, such as poetry slam, art stages, sport areas, and even events for families and children.

You can check the official program here.