You may have already noticed the recycling points (milieuperrons) in your neighbourhood. Here you can dispose of your PBD [Plastic packaging, tins/cans (Blik) and Drink cartons], glass (both white and dark), as well as paper and cardboard. You can check the location of the recycling points at this link (in Dutch) or in the Milieu App. Disposing of your recyclable waste at the milieuperrons is free, and you can use the platforms every day from 07:00 to 22:00.
The PBD container is meant for plastics, drink cartons and metal cans. Make sure your plastic packaging is clean so that there are no major food leftovers in them. If you’re unsure if your item belongs in the PBD container, make use of the Milieu app to check out the correct recycling instructions. Most packages also include a sign on the back indicating which recycling bin it should be put into.
The openings of the containers for paper/cardboard at the milieuperrons have recently been adjusted, and are now quite slim. This means that you will have to flatten or sometimes also break up certain items, like large boxes, into smaller, thin pieces (think of a stack of A4 papers or newspapers) before you can recycle them, otherwise they physically won’t fit into the recycling station. This is best done at home before you bring your paper and carton to the recycling points.
If you have large paper/cardboard items that are really hard to break apart, you have two other options: the first is to take them to an environmental park; the second is to wait for the day on which the municipality collects paper and cardboard. This is free and it happens once a month. The exact date depends on your neighbourhood so be sure to check this out from the waste calendar or Milieu app. You can simply tie up all your paper/cardboard together (using sisal or cotton string) or put all the items in a cardboard box and leave it out on the street in front of your house the night before the pick-up day.
Lastly, it’s also important that any items you’re getting rid of are not covered in food leftovers. For example, a very oily pizza box cannot be recycled, but should be disposed of in the same way as your non-recyclable waste.
Glass should be divided into clear and colored so make sure to recycle your glass into the correct station. Clear glass can be thrown into the “Wit glass” and colored into the “Donker glass” bins.
Recycling drinking bottles
In the Netherlands you can return many bottles in dedicated machines at the supermarkets where you bought them, and get some money back for doing so. This is usually for beer bottles, beer crates, or bigger plastic bottles. You can check if this is the case by looking on the back of the bottle, or on your receipt, if it says the word “Statiegeld”. Statiegeld is a small deposit you pay on the bottles when you buy them, which gets returned to you if you bring the bottles back to the supermarket you got them in. This is done to encourage consumers to return (and thus recycle) them.