Waste and Recycling

In the Netherlands, household waste and organic kitchen and garden waste are usually collected separately from houses, at set times. However, those living in apartments do not separate their organic and household waste, and deposit their trash in underground containers that are located near their building. A pass is required to access these containers.


Several kringloop (recycling) schemes exist in the Netherlands, although these may vary slightly depending on where you live. Many areas have a policy that each house should have recycling facilities within 500 meters.

  • When you purchase bottled drinks, you will sometimes pay a small deposit, which is refundable. There are ususallu machines located inside grocery stores where you can deposit these empty plastic or glass bottles. You will receive a receipt, which you can use to pay for your groceries.

  • Bottle banks for recycling either clear, green and brown glass, and plastics can be found outside many supermarkets. In some cities, they pick up plastic from houses.

  • Paper/cardboard is ususally picked up once a month. On the day of pick up, you are requested to bundle it and
    place it on the curb near your house. Sometimes you are provided a container to place these items in.

  • There are collection points for clothes and shoes, often near grocery stores. Before depositing the items into the bin, place them in a tied plastic bag.

  • Bins for used batteries and lightbulbs can be found inside certain stores, including most grocery stores.

  • Larger items can be taken to your local milieustraten (waste recycling points).

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