Recycling and waste disposal
As a new international in The Hague, one might feel overwhelmed by all the policies and regulations regarding household waste disposal, but sustainable habits are easy to adopt. The Dutch take great pride in maintaining their environment clean.
Most of the topics regarding household waste disposal are covered in The Hague municipality website's page on Waste and Recycling.
Regular household waste
Some neighbourhoods have trash bin curbside pickup, other places trash bags, and in the upcoming years, more and more underground containers will provide to handle the trash of the city.
Do you live in a neighbourhood where you put out your household waste each week in a separate garbage bag or wheelie bin? Refer to the household waste calendar. If there is no indication of retrieval in the calendar, it means the waste in your street is disposed in containers.
- Organic waste - green bin
- Paper - blue bin
- Plastic, metal & drink cartons – orange bin
- All remaining waste – grey or black bin
You can use the containers to dispose of your household waste 7 days a week. Please show consideration for your neighbours and use the containers only between 7.00 and 22.00 hrs. There is usually an underground rubbish container within 75 metres of each home. Certain rules apply to dispose of your household rubbish.
The average waste separation percentage in the Netherlands is approximately 50%. In 2020 we want to separate 75% of our waste, but to achieve this, cooperation between the municipality, HMS and citizens is invaluable. All parties play an important role in the recycling of waste back to raw materials, and so it costs much less energy to produce products. What can you separate at home? Click the following links for more information:
If the plastic is not packaging material, e.g. toys, plastic plates or toothbrushes, then it should be disposed of with the regular household waste.
Biodegradable plastic is not allowed, as it takes too long to turn into compost.
Only material which is dry and clean is permitted in the paper container. If in doubt, just throw it away with regular household waste.
Do not throw any glass in the glass containers between 20.00 and 7.00 hrs as to not disturb the neighbours with the noise of breaking glass.
Pack textiles and shoes in a plastic bag so that they do not get wet or dirty. Tie the shoes together.
Energy-saving light bulbs and LED lamps do not belong in this bin. You can dispose of these at one of the garbage and recycling stations and at many shops which sell these types of lamps.
Once it has cooled, pour the deep fryer oil or grease back into the original bottle or another plastic bottle or jar. Seal the container well.
The following items may NOT be disposed of as regular household waste:
- Oversized waste
- Domestic chemical waste
- Company waste
- Sharp objects or glass in garbage bags
- Loose plastic bags
- Boxes with rubbish or other loose garbage
Improper disposal of waste
Improper disposal of waste may result in a fine. The municipal surveillance team is officially authorised to check improperly disposed of waste bags. The team is permitted to open the bags, search through the contents and collect any details they find about the people who disposed of the rubbish.
Electronics recycling tax
In the Netherlands, when you buy household appliances, you pay the 'removal tax' upfront, called 'verwijderingsbijdrage. When you buy a new appliance, you can turn in your old appliance for free. The supplier of your new appliance is legally obliged to take in your old appliance without charging you.
The Afvalpas is a plastic card with a built-in chip with an invisible code. You need to have it if you want to dispose of oversized waste or garden waste at a garbage and recycling station. You cannot enter without an Afvalpas.