Refuse Collection and Recycling in Portugal

Information on the management of household waste in Portugal. 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 Portugal is under the responsibility of the municipality.

  • Find out who is responsible for the waste management in each region (website in Portuguese)

Two types of systems are used for packaging. In the consignment system, the consumer pays a deposit on the packaging, which is reimbursed when the used package is returned, for example on bottles. The integrated waste management system consists of non-reusable packaging. These are marked with the Green Dot symbol to indicate how it should be recycled. The Green Dot system is managed by Sociedade Ponto Verde.

Waste is collected on alternate days of recycled material and residual waste. The local municipality can provide a schedule of collection times and dates.

General Household Waste

Residual waste is any non-recyclable, non-hazardous, household waste. It should be put in the grey bin.


Products to recycle should be brought to a recycle point (ecoponto), where different coloured containers are located. Each colour is associated with the type of material.

Organic waste should be put in the brown bin.

Glass should be recycled in the green bin, without the lid or bottle top and properly emptied.

Plastic bottles, metal packaging and drinks cartons (packaging - embalagens) should be recycled in the yellow bin.

Paper (papel) and cardboard should be recycled in the blue bin.

Textile should be left in a clothing bank, if there is one. Associations accept used clothes, and kennels and catteries appreciate donations of towels and sheets. There are also groups to exchange or reuse textiles.

Dangerous or Toxic Products

Medication should be returned to a pharmacy.

Batteries should be left in the red box at the recycle point (ecoponto).

Small hazardous waste or chemical waste such as detergents, paint, varnish, oil, cosmetics or cartridges and toners should be taken to a recycling centre, provided it is equipped to handle this kind of waste. Contact the city council to find out before.

Disposing of large objects

Bulky waste should be taken to a recycle centre. The town hall might be able to offer a pickup service.

Electrical and electronic appliances should be brought to a recycling centre. Some areas have a pickup service. If a new product has been bought, stores are obliged to take back the old one.

Renovation and construction waste should be taken to a recycle centre.

Further Information