Rotterdam and surrounding cities work hard at work to keep their urban environments clean. For that reason, all citizens are encouraged to separate their garbage. To make that as easy as possible, there are plenty of collection points or pick-up days for your household waste. First we explain below which garbage you need to separate, and then we tell you about the collection points and pick-up days.
We make a distinction between two types of garbage: household waste (huishoudelijk afval) and bulky waste (grofvuil). Household waste is all waste which is part of normal daily life, fits easily in a normal bin, and doesn’t involve chemicals or electricity. Bulky waste is waste that doesn’t fit a standard trash can, such as debris, plaster boards and broken furniture.
Which waste do I have to separate?
In Rotterdam, you are obliged to divide your household garbage into glass recycling (glas), paper recycling (papier) and residual waste (‘restafval’). In addition, you also have the optional opportunity to separately collect plastic via Plastic Heroes, a private project, and textiles (textiel) via the Dutch branch of the Salvation Army. Used batteries are collected via boxes in front of supermarkets and other collection points; sometimes used frying fat is also collected at these locations. In some areas, households can also offer compostable materials separately (referred to as GFT, this includes fruit, vegetables, and garden clippings).
How do I get rid of my household waste?
There are two collection methods for household waste, depending on the area you live in. If you live in a densely populated area, in high-rise buildings and/or close to the city centre, it is quite likely that you can bring your garbage to an underground container on the street. These containers are divided into residual waste (‘restafval’), paper recycling and glass recycling. These containers are everywhere in Rotterdam, as the municipality wants to make sure waste collection is easily accessible for every household. Figure out where you can find the underground containers close to your house on this map.
An individual bin in the garden
In less populated areas, waste is collected directly from individual households by a garbage truck, which comes on certain days. Every household will get a bin to offer the waste to the Roteb sanitation company. This bin belongs to the house, and you can leave it behind when you move. The type of bin determines which waste you should put in it: green for compostables, blue for paper, and grey for general waste.
What to do with bulky and chemical waste?
Bulky and chemical waste can be brought to the official waste collection depots (milieuparken), where it has to be divided into clearly defined waste categories. In addition to paper, glass and plastic, these categories also encompass iron, cardboard, plasterboard, chemical waste and more. There are seven of these milieuparken in Rotterdam, open from Tuesday until Saturday. You can find the location closest to you via this link. Please note that these waste collection depots have restricted opening times. In addition, these locations are only for individual use; the staff may require a letter with your address and name on it to prove you are not disposing of commercial waste illegally.
If you are not able to bring your bulky waste to the waste collection depot, you can make an appointment with the municipal waste collection services. Once you have an appointment, you can put the bulky waste in front of your house on the agreed date, and it will be picked up for free by the Roteb. Please make sure the bulky waste is presented in manageable bundles of 1 meter across, and weighing a maximum of 30 kilograms each. You can make an appointment via this (Dutch) link or by calling +31 (0)10 2671625 (press 2 for an English-speaking officer) to contact the municipal authorities directly.
Electronic devices can be handed in at the shop when you buy a new device in the same category. If you don’t replace the device, you can bring your electronic devices to the waste collection depots (milieuparken) as described above.
Pests can sometimes be a problem, but hopefully not too serious if tackled early. For extermination of vermin, such as rats and cockroaches, you can contact Roteb Disinfection. Please call promptly in order to prevent further contamination: +31 (0)10 – 267 1625 (press 2 for an English speaking officer).
Household waste tax
Please note: you will pay an annual household waste disposal tax in Rotterdam. This tax will be assessed every year. Read more about waste collection taxes in the section on ‘taxes’.