Waste Management in Leuven

In Belgium household waste is managed by sorting and recycling. Each region has its own system of colour-coded bags or bins, so here are some key pointers to help you sort your trash correctly in the Leuven area.

International House Leuven
26 January 2024

Do empty yoghurt pots belong in your blue PMD bag? Do you need to remove the plastic wrapper from brochures and magazines before sorting? How is selective waste collection organised in Leuven? Why are your neighbour's bins empty, but yours not? Worry no more, we have some great resource for you to decipher waste in Leuven.

The basics

It comes down to this. There are 4 different types of waste collected at your home in Leuven.

  • The blue bag (PMD)
  • The brown bag (household waste)
  • The green bag OR the green bin (for compost or GFT)
  • Paper

Besides these 4 types of things collected at your home there are also things that you have to get rid yourself, including:

To know where to put certain items you can look them up on the better sorting website.

Where do I buy the specific bags?

You can purchase specific bags for various types of unsorted waste, biodegradable waste and PMD at most supermarkets (you may have to ask at the register if you can't find them in the trash bag isle) or the City Office (Stadskantoor). It might seem expensive at first glance, but when buying the bags you are also funding the waste collection system.

  • Brown bags (unsorted waste)
    • Roll of 10 large bags (60 liters per bag): € 22,5
    • Roll of 10 small bags (30 liters per bag): € 11,25
  • Blue bags (PMD: plastic packaging, metal packaging, drink cartons)
    • Roll of 20 bags (60 liters): € 3
    • Roll of 20 bags (90 liters): € 4
  • Light green bags (GFT: vegetable, fruit and garden)
    Green gft bags are only for Leuven city center. Biodegradable waste outside the ring is collected in a GFT container.
    • Roll of 10 large biodegradable bags (40 liters): € 7
    • Roll of 20 small biodegradable bags (20 liters): € 7

Compostable bags for kitchen waste bins
They also sell a roll of 50 compostable bags (€ 2,5). You can put these in your kitchen waste bin for GFT waste. Note: you may not put GFT waste in these bags for collection. For that you use the official light green bags.

Find out about more the trash specific bags from the city of Leuven here.

When is waste picked-up at my home?

The following things are collected on most streets regurlarly (see the pick-up calendar for the dates of your street):

  • The blue bag (PMD)
  • The brown bag (household waste)
  • The green bag OR the green bin with valid sticker(!) for compost or GFT
  • Paper

To find out when and if waste will be collected outside of your home we can direct you towards the Recycle! app or website. You simply put in your address and it will show you the next waste collection, the full calendar, your recycling park, and some more specific info about what goes in which bag.

Still unsure about your sorting knowledge? You can play an online game in "Sortingham" to get a hang of things.

Be aware that the timing and frequency of collection is different in every municipality and can even differ from one side of the street to the other. It is very well possible that your neighbor's collection day is different than yours, so make sure to check the collection calendar or the Recycle! app.

Please note the following things can be picked up at your home only upon request:

What about things that aren't picked up?

Most household waste is collected at your house, but you can also dispose of it (most types) at the so-called container or recycling parks.

Have you thought about donating it before throwing it away? You can donate things such as clothes, furniture, games, books, etc. to the local thrift store chain called the "Kringwinkel ViTeS", or most commonly known as the "Spit".

Glass needs to be emptied at a glass disposal bin. They are located all over the city and neighborhoods. You will have to sort the glass by color. Find more info and locations of the glass deposits here.

Where to get more information?

  • You can always ask local friends, colleagues, neighbors or your landlord
  • The information above is a collection from what is readily available on the city's website, in English!
Something wrong or unclear on this page? Let us know.
This page was last updated on: 18 March 2024