Refuse Collection and Recycling in Spain

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

Management of household waste and recycling in Spain is under the responsibility of the municipalities.

Refuse collection varies depending on region, and type of area. The bins should often be put out at specific times. The town hall can provide information on this.

The waste collection is paid for annually through taxes.

General Household Waste

Residual waste is any non-recyclable, non-hazardous, household waste. The colour of the bin depends on the region, but is normally grey.

Recycling

Products to recycle should be brought to a recycle point (punto limpio), where containers in several colours are located. Each colour is associated with the type of material.

Organic waste should be put in the brown bin, where available.

Glass should be recycled in the green bottle bank, without lids or caps and properly emptied.

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

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

Textiles 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.

Dangerous or Toxic Products

Medication should be returned to a pharmacy.

Batteries should be left in collection bins for this purpose.

Small hazardous waste or chemical waste such as detergents, paint, varnish, oil, cosmetics, cartridges and toners should be taken to a recycling centre (eco-parque). In some areas, there are red bins for hazardous waste.

In some peripheral neighbourhoods, there is a scheduled mobile collection point (Ecoparque Móvil) service.

Disposing of large objects

Bulky objects can be brought to a recycling centre. There might also be a pickup service for these objects – the local town hall can advise on this.

Electrical and electronic appliances, as well as renovation and construction waste should be brought to a recycling centre.