Waste collection system - Netherlands

Blogs News 16.03.23

Waste collection system in the Netherlands - Expat Guide

If you're an expat in the Netherlands and you come from a country where recycling is not a highly developed habit, this will probably come as quite a shock given that the Dutch are extremely careful about how they manage their rubbish and waste. 

If you want to go and work in the Netherlands or have already got a contract through DB Work, this is a guide for you. The waste collection system in the Netherlands is complex and strict, and those who don't follow the rules will be fined. Here's what you need to know.

Waste collection system

In the Netherlands, waste collection is managed by government institutions. Citizens and residents are obliged to sort their waste into different categories according to the town or area they live in. As far as household waste is concerned, it is collected regularly according to a schedule which may also differ depending on the area or city. 

Other waste such as glass, plastic, paper, metal, or even bio-waste must be sorted and recycled, but also disposed of or put in different containers. Every citizen or inhabitant of the Netherlands is obliged to do this daily, but you shouldn't be afraid because it's neither complicated nor difficult. 

Sorted waste disposal units are everywhere and there are enough for every area in Dutch cities.

Special containers for sorted waste

The containers used for recycling waste are very easy to recognize, and depending on the colors and the instructions on the front, you will find it quite easy to understand what has to be disposed of and in which container. Most of these bins are organized so that you can separately collect paper, glass, plastic, and metal, as well as special containers for drinks.

All you have to do is sort your waste at home and when you go to the recycling center, it's easy to throw each one where it belongs. The metal bins have a top lid and the waste is collected in an underground storage area. State institutions regularly empty these collection spaces, so you'll never find full bins.

How you can earn some money by recycling

Plastic bottles and aluminum cans are a great way to earn some extra money during your stay in the Netherlands. Most supermarkets have collection and recycling centers for plastic bottles and aluminum cans. Once you've put all your containers in the collection center, you'll receive a voucher that gives you a discount on your purchases at the supermarket.

One thing to bear in mind when recycling bottles is that the shop you go to must sell those drinks. For example, if you find a Lidl, you should be careful if the store sells Coca-Cola as you won't be able to recycle bottles and cans of the same brand if they are not sold in the store.

The world's best recycling system

The Netherlands is an example to many countries, and the way waste is recycled is so efficient that the government wants to be able to reduce waste of any kind by 100% by 2050. That should make you realize how serious the system is and how rigorous the rules are. 

The amount of fines for throwing PETs, bottles, cans, cardboard, electronics together with household waste, without collecting them separately, changes frequently. The important thing to remember is that you don't have to break the rules, as the Dutch are strict in enforcing the law.

If you are determined and want a job in such a developed country, the DB Work recruitment team is waiting for your CV by email at job@dbwork.com