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Recycling in the Netherlands


Collection processes

The curbside collection systems for recyclates employed vary across the Netherlands:

  • the GFT ("Groente Fruit en Tuinafval") box or Green box - nearly almost all municipalities except some quarters of major cities. Frequency ~ once per week
  • Red box - household chemicals, batteries, TL, etc. - most cities. Frequency ~ once per three months
  • paper collection (generally without boxes, population is expected to provide carton boxed packages). May be collected through local organisations such as sports groups. Frequency ~ once per week
  • White bag - clothing. Frequency ~ rare

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, although technically, this is re-use.

Facts and figures

Landfills are used for less than 10% of all waste. Dutch household waste recycling averages to 60% (2006).[citation needed]

  • Compost (2003):

The separately gathered organic fraction is 50% of household waste, or 1500 kilotonnes. This is processed to 600 kilotonnes of compost, and the end-product partially exported while over annual national consumption.

  • Paper (2005):

In the Netherlands itself, the recycled amount in 2005 was up to 2.5 million tonnes, which is 75% of annual consumption. By contrast, in the EU, over 50% of paper is recycled.

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. The following Dutch article (2006) reports the involvement of the Dutch in the reform of UK recycling industry:[1].

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, drink containers, gas canisters, household appliances (Although the money is never returned, it requires a shopowner 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).

Materials collected

The different types of recyclable materials collected include:

  • All types of paper/cardboard (excluding plastics, metal fragments and organic contamination)
  • Glass jars and bottles - by common collection points
  • Compostable materials
  • Plastics - Type 1 and 2 PETE
  • Motor oil
  • Tires - some re-treaded, some mixed with ashpalt for road resurfacing
  • Metal cans - beverage and soup cans, although usually extracted from trash by separation techniques
  • Beer bottles through deposit systems
  • Plastic soda containers through deposit systems
  • Ink cartridge
  • All types of batteries
  • Clothing and toys for second-hand use
  • Construction timber
  • Concrete and bricks used as roadfill, or grinded down and mixed as new
  • Household appliances - may also be returned through shop when buying new products

See also

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Recycling_in_the_Netherlands". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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