After you’ve separated your PBD, glass, paper/cardboard and organic waste, most other non-recyclable waste items can go in the red and white bin bags, which you can buy at the service counter at super markets (where you get cigarettes). Exceptions to the items that can go in the red bags are batteries, lightbulbs and electronic devices, among others. For electronic devices, there are drop-off points at supermarkets, or within the stores where the electronics were bought in the first place. Check the Milieu App to make sure that what you’re getting rid of in the red and white bags actually belongs there! Still, after all that recycling, there shouldn’t be too much left to put in these bags. This is good news, because they are the worst for the environment, and also the most expensive for you. Ideally, you would use them for non recyclable waste like full vacuum cleaner bags, chewing gum, cigarette butts, ash, sanitary napkins and weird combined-material packaging.
For low-rise buildings (houses), the municipality collects bags once every two weeks. For high-rise buildings (flats, apartments) they collect the bags once a week. You can check the Milieu App or the waste calendar (in Dutch) to find out which day this is for your address. You can leave your red and white bag(s) out on the sidewalk between 19:00h on the evening before the collection day, or before 06:00h in the morning on the collection day.
There is only one exception to this rule: if the waste calendar/Milieu App indicates that Tuesday is the pick-up day for your garbage, then you should put the waste on the street on Tuesday evening between 17:00h and 18:00h.
Please stick to the date and time on which you should be putting your trash out, as leaving it out any earlier will mean the bags are left on the street for longer than they should be. This looks and smells bad, and also attracts vermin. For more information on this topic, check out the municipality website.
Lastly, it’s not unheard of that people receive large fines for throwing out recyclable items in the red and white bags, instead of taking them to the recycling stations. The people who collect the trash can look inside the red bags to make sure there are no recyclable materials inside; if they do find any, they can locate the culpable person and fine them. It might seem like a lot of work, but recycling is worth the effort, and once you create a routine around it, it becomes really easy and straightforward!
Underground containers for residual waste
Certain high-building complexes also have underground containers, where residents can take their residual (non-recyclable) waste. These containers are meant for non-recyclable waste and can only be opened by a Milieupas (environmental pass). When you move, you automatically receive a Milieupas, provided you have registered this new address at the municipality. If not, you can check out our page explaining how you can apply for one.
Bear in mind that only the residents of these complexes can access the underground residual waste containers; to use them, open the lid with your Milieupas, and simply drop your residual (non-recyclable) waste in. The containers can be used at all times, and you don’t need to use the red and white municipality bags for this, any garbage bag will do. For every time you use these containers, €0.98 will be charged to your yearly ‘tax bill’ that is sent by the BsgW. It is also important to know that this will be added to a fixed waste charge that you pay for the year, which comes up to € 299.03 in 2020. For more information about this, see our section on ‘Kwijtschelding/reprieve‘.