Recycling in the Netherlands is under the responsibility of local authorities.[1][2] Different localities implement different systems, and also within a municipality there can be multiple regimes. Municipalities publish a yearly calendar of the pickup dates and the addresses of the waste separation and recycling stations.[3]

Collection processes

Paper recycling pickup in Amsterdam, 2011

The curbside collection systems for recyclates employed vary across the Netherlands:[4][5]

Recyclable waste collected elsewhere

Municipality Recycling facilities

All municipalities are required to provide known collection points for recyclable and/or hazardous materials. All types of separated trash can be accepted here for free or a small sum depending on type of material (green stuff and concrete/bricks is usually free). Some stores perform collection of chemicals (paint, batteries). There are a great number of second-hand shops (run by charity organisations) that accept goods for processing, which consists of re-use, recycling and burning it as fuel.

Facts and figures

Landfill usage has been lowered significantly from 13% in 1992 to 3% in 2016.[9] Dutch household waste recycling averages 49% (2012).[10]

The amount of separated household waste in the Netherlands was around 60% in 2014. The Dutch government wants 75% of household waste to be separated by 2020, which means that waste will decrease from 250 kilograms per capita per year to 100 kilograms per capita per year in 2020.[11]

Recycling expertise

The Dutch have a lot of experience in recycling, stimulated by lack of free grounds and significant government funding. This expertise is sensibly exported. A 2006 article reports Dutch involvement in reform of recycling in the UK.

EU Regulations

National law concerning recycling is heavily influenced by EU regulations. Reforms may have great impact on national collection systems (for instance a downgrade of the recycling system is imaginable, when deposits on types of drink containers are lifted). Also, the environmental impact of industry is closely guarded by EU standards.

Deposit systems

Deposit systems are in use for beer bottles, larger plastic bottles, and plastic crates for bottles. For these items, the deposit (or statiegeld) is returned by automated machines at supermarkets. A video of such a machine in use and returning the deposit is available on YouTube.[12]

Gas bottles and household appliances are also covered by this. Although for these the money is never returned, it requires a shop owner to accept the discarded item it replaces, if handed in. The used term is "verwijderingsbijdrage" or "removal fee". Extra earnings from this system are spent on investments in the recycling industry.

On 24 April 2020, the State Secretary for Infrastructure and Water Management Stientje van Veldhoven announced that plastic bottles smaller than 1L will be subject to a 0.15 deposit, starting on 1 July 2021. Beverage cans will be subject to a deposit in 2022 if the industry doesn't succeed to reduce the presence of cans in the environment with 70% in 2021.[13] Dutch environmental organisations acclaimed the decision.[14]

See also


  1. ^ Ferrara, Ida; Missios, Paul (1 November 2012). "A Cross-Country Study of Household Waste Prevention and Recycling: Assessing the Effectiveness of Policy Instruments". Land Economics. 88 (4): 710–744. doi:10.3368/le.88.4.710. ISSN 0023-7639. S2CID 154840033.
  2. ^ Goorhuis, Maarten; Reus, Pieter; Nieuwenhuis, Ellen; Spanbroek, Natascha; Sol, Mario; van Rijn, Jørgen (September 2012). "New developments in waste management in the Netherlands". Waste Management & Research. 30 (9_suppl): 67–77. doi:10.1177/0734242X12455089. PMID 22993136. S2CID 38898272.
  3. ^ "Refuse Collection and Recycling - Netherlands".
  4. ^ "Garbage Disposal in the Netherlands" (in Dutch). 11 October 2017. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
  5. ^ "Container aan huis (kliko)" (in Dutch). Retrieved 7 May 2020.
  6. ^ "De glasbak" (in Dutch). 16 April 2003. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
  7. ^ "Klein chemisch afval (kca)" (in Dutch). Retrieved 7 May 2020.
  8. ^ "Waar kan ik cartridges inleveren?" (in Dutch). Retrieved 7 May 2020.
  9. ^ van de Sande, Fons (26 February 2018). "Landfill management in the Netherlands" (PDF). (in Dutch). p. 3. Retrieved 30 August 2020.
  10. ^ "Municipal waste recycled and composted in each European country — European Environment Agency".
  11. ^ Milieubeheer, Ministerie van Volkshuisvesting, Ruimtelijke Ordening en (13 September 2010). "Huishoudelijk afval scheiden en recyclen". (in Dutch). Retrieved 2018-02-20.((cite web)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  12. ^ "Robotic Dutch bottle re-use machine", Youtube. Accessed: August 18, 2012.
  13. ^ "Vanaf volgend jaar statiegeld op kleine plastic flesjes, later mogelijk ook op blik". 24 April 2020. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
  14. ^ "Statiegeld op kleine plastic flessen: "Eindelijk goed nieuws voor het milieu!"". 24 April 2020. Retrieved 7 May 2020.