How to master the trash system

By Ronja Holopainen on Thursday 21 September 2023 at 08:06
How to master the trash system

Hi all! 

Today we’re going to talk about trash disposal. I know, I know, it’s quite boring as far as topics go but after reading this post you’ll know how to master the trash system and avoid hefty fines. ( 150!!) Let’s dive in! 

You’ve probably already noticed that recycling is taken very seriously in the Netherlands, especially in Maastricht. Maastricht aims to be waste-free by 2030, so the municipality is making a huge effort to reduce the amount of waste we produce. In this post, we will briefly go over the different types of waste and what you need to do with it. 

Let’s start with organic waste. So everything that can be composted belongs here, meaning that anything from fruit peels to egg shells can be thrown into the organic waste. Each household should have one or two big or small green bins provided by the municipality. On the side of these there’s a code and your address is printed so you can recognize whether you have the correct bin. All you have to do is dump your organic waste there and put it outside your door once a week for collection. 

The green bins can get quite nasty if you just directly throw your food waste in. So, we would highly recommend using bio waste bags for your organic waste before putting it into the green bin. We also really recommend putting a piece of newspaper at the bottom of your green bin so that it keeps it nice and fresh and of course replace this regularly. I mean, I don’t think any of us want to be scraping months old food waste out of the container, speaking from experience this is truly awful. Secondly, I recommend checking the trash pick-up schedule in your area so that you don’t miss out on your pick-up date! Download the Milieu app and you will be up to speed with the pick-up dates. Also, the Milieu app is super handy to check how to recycle all types of waste products. 

In the Netherlands, anything that can be recycled, will be recycled. You should separate your carton and paper, plastics and metals as well as glass (into coloured and clear). The whole getting rid of these you’ll have to unfortunately take care of yourself. In each neighbourhood there are these recycling stations these are called millieuperrons in Dutch. (I’m sure you’ve noticed the big grey containers) where you can easily drop everything off. The municipality also collects cardboard/paper trash once a month so in case you have larger pieces of cardboard, it may be more simple to leave it inside until then and on the pick-up day put it outside of your house on the street. 

Finally, the general waste or Restavfal in Dutch. This one is a bit of a trickier one, but nothing to worry about, you can master it in no time! Your general waste is collected once every two weeks. Again, you can check the pick-up dates on the Milieu app. Anything that cannot be recycled or composted goes into your general waste, think crisp packets or things like that. So, mostly after recycling as much as possible, there shouldn’t be much stuff in your  general waste. In order to have this picked up, you must put all the waste into the grey-and-red restafval bags. You can purchase these at the service desk of the larger supermarkets such as Albert Heijn and Jumbo. Please note that if you put items in the general waste that could have been recycled, you risk getting a fine! That’s why it’s super important to keep up with the good work of recycling! 

I hope that with these tips you’re all set to go and master the trash disposal system in Maastricht!

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