Waste management

Sorting waste is mandatory in the whole of the Brussels-Capital Region.  Paper, plastic, some food waste, glass, batteries, chemicals and bulky household are separated from “rest waste”.  Bags are opened and checked by Bruxelles-Propreté whose rubbish lorries drive through the streets of the capital to collect rubbish from residences. This agency, together with the municipalities, is also responsible for "public cleanliness" in the Brussels-Capital Region.

Five different color rubbish bags

There is five different color rubbish bags:

  • WHITE BAG : unsorted waste is to be placed in white bags. This waste is incinerated and converted into steam (energy).. Their weight may not exceed 15 kg and bags are available in 30, 60 and 80 litre sizes.
  • YELLOW BAG : paper and cardboard are to be placed in yellow bags (dry, clean and folded). They can include newspapers, magazines, advertisements, brochures, etc. Should you have large cardboard boxes, it is recommended to fold them and place them in the street next to the yellow bags.
  • BLUE BAG are used for all plastic packaging, i.e. yoghurt pots, butter cups, bags or films empty, plastic bottles and flasks, metal packaging and drinking cartons. A few practical examples: tinned goods, cans, aluminium bowls, metal lids, milk cartons, etc.
  • ORANGE BAG : Brussels residents who do not have food compost (or do not have access to it) must put the following food waste in the orange bag : leftovers from meals (including meat and fish scraps), fruit and vegetable peelings, coffee grounds and teabags, kitchen roll, tissues and kitchen roll and food past its use-by date (without the packaging). Food which is not mentioned above have to be placed in the white bag. This food waste is then sent to a bio-methanisation centre in order to transform this waste into energy.
  • GREEN BAG : the waste that is "to be collected" in the green bag is tree branches, dead leaves, wilted flowers, weeds, plants, lawn clippings and hedge & shrub trimmings.

The content of all those 5 rubbish bags mentioned above are recycled.

You can buy them in supermarkets, convenience stores and DIY shops.


  • If you live in the Brussels-Capital region and shop in a supermarket in another region, you may not find all the bin bags you need. Indeed, not all regions use the same bags for sorting.
  • The colour codes on the bags are sometimes different from those in your country of origin.
  • The maximum is 15 kgs per rubbish bag.
  • If there is any sharp waste in the rubbish bag, please make sure to wrap it enough in order to avoid any injury (for yourself or the Bruxelles-propreté team members).

Collect days and hours

Collect days differ from one municipality to another and sometimes from street to street within the same municipality. Two days are reserved for the collecting of white bags, and one day for coloured bags. To know the collect days in your street, click here and enter the name of your street, the number and the postal code of your house.

The rubbish bags can be put out in the morning before 5.30 a.m. or before the collection time, or the day before after 6 p.m. and placed along your frontage (not at the bottom of a tree or around a public litter bin). If, for any reason, collection cannot take place, you are obliged to remove the bags, containers and other receptacles deposited from the public highway.

What about the other waste ?

  • Waste glass cannot be placed in either of these bags. You have to put your empty bottles in the white and coloured glass containers. To find a glass container near your place, click here and enter the name of your street, the number and the postal code of your house.
  • All types of medicines (even those that have expired) have to be returned to the pharmacy.
  • The household chemical waste (cleaning and maintenance products, garden products, automotive products, extinguishers, …) must be disposed of at PROXY CHIMIK.
  • Recupel recycles gas-discharge lamps (energy-saving bulbs and tube lighting) as well as LED lights. Many supermarkets, DIY shops and electrical shops in your area have Recupel points for small electrical appliances and other LED bulbs, neon tubes and energy-saving lamps. Find a collection point here.
  • Bulky household refuse (old furniture, household appliances, etc.) can be taken to the container park. In addition, the municipalities organise collection days for bulky household refuse in your neighbourhood. Keep an eye on your letterbox to know the right date. You can also contact Bruxelles- Propreté and book an appointment (T : 0800 981 81). They will come to collect the refuse from your home (3m³ free of charge, once a year).

    Warning! Putting out rubbish bags outside of allowed hours, illegal dumping, not picking up dog waste, etc., can all lead to serious fines running up to 250 euros. Please find a list of the different fines and their tariffs here.

The recycle app

The Recycle! app (developed by fostplus, Bebat and Recupel) is the reference application for questions concerning waste in Belgium!

The app provides answers to all questions about the collection and sorting of waste at the door. It will show you the way to the nearest collection point, give you the collection calendar for your street and you can even get a notification the day before the collection so that you can put out the right waste at the right time.

Download the Recycle app

For general information: 0800 981 81