Refuse Collection and Recycling in Belgium

Information on the management of household waste in Belgium. What you can and can't throw in the dustbin, and how and where to dispose of household waste, toxic products, electronic equipment and garden waste...

Management of household waste and recycling in Belgium is the responsibility of the three regions: Brussels Capital, Flanders and Wallonia.

It is compulsory for people to sort all household waste. Waste is collected regularly.

General Household Waste

Residual waste is any non-recyclable household waste. It should be placed in white bags or grey/black containers. It cannot be brought to a container park.

It is preferable to not throw away items in good condition, but give them away, for example to one of the various charity associations, flea markets, or second hand shops.

Recycling

Plastic bottles, metal packaging and drinks cartons (PMD waste) should be recycled in the same container.

Paper and cardboard should be recycled together in the designated container.

Glass should be recycled, separating clear from coloured glass in designated containers.

Textiles are collected from the home on demand. They can also be left in the textile containers at collection points.

Dangerous or Toxic Products

Medication should be returned to a pharmacy.

Batteries should be left in a collection box found in supermarkets or petrol stations.

Small hazardous waste or chemical waste such as detergents, paint, varnish, oil and cosmetics should be dropped at a collection point  or “green spot” (groene plekjes[ can you put the French word in too?]) found in regional container parks. In Brussels, a Mobile Green Spot service is available at fixed hours and locations.

Garden Waste

Garden waste is compostable but can also be left at a collection point. In some regions, it is collected at certain drop-off sites from April to November, if put in a green bag. In Brussels, the service is available all year, except in the city centre.

Christmas trees should be put on the pavement on a garden waste collection day, or be brought to a container park.

Disposing of large objects

Bulky waste should be brought to a container park.

Electrical and electronic appliances, such as computers, washing machines, refrigerators and televisions should be left at a container park, or be left with the seller when a new product is bought. Second hand shops, such as De Kringwinkel (in Flanders), and Ressources (in Wallonia and Brussels), a company involved in recovery and recycling, accept appliances that still work.

Renovation and construction waste is divided into inert waste (rubble) and other construction and renovation waste. It should be left in a container park. Some areas have a special home collection service.

Further Information