Organic waste

Organic waste should be placed in your green bin (larger container or smaller bucket). We collect organic waste every week free of charge. We turn it into compost, which helps keep the soil healthy. Find out more about your green bin and organic waste separation here. You can also request a green bin or report a question or comment on this page.

Home collection

We collect your organic waste every week free of charge. You can put your green bin outside to be emptied every week, even if it is not completely full. See the Environmental App or the Waste Calendar to find out when we collect organic waste in your neighbourhood.

Green bucket or container (request, comment or question)

You can request two green buckets or containers free of charge. The green bucket holds 25 litres. The green container holds 140 litres.

If you have any other questions or would like more information, see below.

Charges

You can dispose or organic waste free of charge and request two free green buckets or containers. If you think you need more than two green bins, then you will be charged for the extra ones. Read more about this under the heading 'Your green bin'.

Prunings

You may place two bundles of prunings outside with your green bucket or container every week. The bundles should measure no more than  150 cm in length and 50 cm in diameter and weigh a maximum of 25 kilos. You can also put twigs and small branches in the green bucket or container. Make sure that you cut them down to size so that the bucket or container closes properly and can be emptied easily. 

Complaint or report

Has your green bin not been emptied through no fault of your own? Report it online or contact us on 14 043.

  • We are pretty good at separating in Maastricht but there is always room for improvement. 

    Below you can see what is and is not organic waste (and where to dispose of it).

    The following is organic waste
    Potatoes and potato peelings
    Flowers and plants
    Bread, dough, rice, pasta
    Peanut and other nut shells
    Egg shells
    Cooked and uncooked food scraps
    Leftover fruit and vegetables / peels
    Cheese and cheese rind without a plastic layer
    Coffee filters, loose tea and coffee grounds
    Litter (hay, straw, sawdust) used for small rodents, as well as their faeces
    Fish, fish bones, mussels and mussel shells
    Meat and meat bones
    The following should not be put in the organic waste bucket or container
    But where then?
    Compostable/biodegradable plastic (except for the compostable bags bearing the seedling logo) Miscellaneous waste
    Dead animals At the vets or the pet crematorium
    Hair and lint Miscellaneous waste
    Wood Wood waste (category A, B or C, separate containers at the recycling centre)
    Wooden ice cream sticks and skewers Miscellaneous waste
    Stickers (on fruit) Miscellaneous waste
    Kitty litter and bird cage sand Miscellaneous waste
    Chewing gum Miscellaneous waste
    Cork Miscellaneous waste
    Baby nappies and incontinence pads Separate container at sorting station
    Pots and rocks Clean rubble (separate container at recycling centre)
    Vacuum cleaner bags and their contents Miscellaneous waste
    Tobacco, cigarette butts and ashes Miscellaneous waste
    Textile Clothing, textile and shoes (separate container at recycling centre)
    Tea bags, coffee pads/pods Miscellaneous waste
    Liquids such as cooking oil (from chip pan or deep-fat fryer) Deep-fat frying oil (separate container at recycling centre)

    In the Environmental App, you will find a handy, comprehensive waste separation guide. This yes/no list shows where each type of waste belongs.

  • How do I request a green bin?

    If you do not have a green bucket or container yet, or if you want an extra one, request it online using your DigiD or phone 14 043. You can choose between a bucket (25 litres) and a container (140 litres).

    What should I do if my green bucket or container is broken?

    If your green bin is broken, we will repair or replace it. Ask for a repair or replacement (using your DigiD).

    I have a green bin but I don’t use it. Can I return it?

    No. We separate out our organic waste in Maastricht. Every flat or house must have a green bucket or container, even if you do not use it. If you move, you must leave the green bin behind.

    How do exchange my green bin for one of another size?

    You can exchange your container or bucket for one of another size (25 or 140 litres). Request this online using your DigiD. 

    I would like to have more than two green buckets or containers. How can I arrange this?

    Two containers are usually enough, especially since we collect organic waste every week. Remember that you can also put out two bundles of twigs/branches every week for collection. Emptying a maximum of two buckets or containers per household also allows us to make the most efficient use of our lorries and employees.

    Of course, in certain cases two bins may not be enough (e.g. if you have a very large garden and a lot of garden waste). In that case, you can take the excess garden waste to the recycling centre, or you can ask for extra bins, for which you will pay a charge. The charges are:

    • € 35 for every extra 25-litre green bucket
    • € 45 for every extra 140-litre green container

    What should I do if my green bucket or container goes missing or has turned up again?

    You can report a bucket or container lost or found online using your DigiD.

    Can I have a green container or bucket for my company, association, foundation, allotment?

    Is the organic waste that you want to dispose of the same as any household organic waste? Then you can request a bucket or container online (using your DigiD) or by phoning 14 043. Please note that you will have to pay refuse collection tax.

    I live in a high-rise building. Can we get a communal container for our building?

    This may be possible in some cases. Phone 14 043 or send an e-mail to afvalcoach [at] maastricht.nl.

  • Can I have my green bin emptied more than once a week?

    No, unfortunately it is not possible for us to collect organic waste and prunings more than once a week without the costs becoming prohibitive. The expense would outweigh the benefit to the environment if we did. You can also take garden waste to a recycling centre.

    How many buckets and containers can I put out to be emptied at one time?

    You can put all your green buckets and containers outside at the same time, provided they are microchipped.

    Do I have to pay to have my green bin emptied?

    No. We can make good use of organic waste by turning it into compost. That is why we want to encourage everyone to separate their organic waste. We are doing this by collecting it free of charge every week from every household in the city.

  • There may be a number of reasons why your green bucket or container has not been emptied:

    • Your bucket or container was too heavy. A bucket may weigh up to 7 kilos, a container up to 75 kilos.
    • You were too late putting the bucket or container outside, after the collection lorry had passed.
    • There was something in the bucket or container that did not belong there. For example residual waste or plastic bags without a kiemplantlogo or OK-compost logo.  Your green bin should only contain organic waste (vegetable, fruit and garden waste and food scraps).
    • The waste inside your bucket or container had got stuck or was frozen to the bottom. 
    • The biodegradable bin liner with the kiemplantlogo or OK-compostlogo was taped or tied to your bucket or container.
    • The bin liner in your bucket or container was not a biodegradable one with the kiemplantlogo or the OK-compostlogo. Black or otherwise coloured rubbish bags made from crude oil or recyclate may not go in the bucket or container.
    • The collection crew could not reach your bucket or container (e.g. because it was behind a pole, fence or vehicle).
    • The cover on your bucket or container was not closed. Make sure that waste is not sticking out of the bin.

    Has your green container not been emptied through no fault of your own? Report it online. Please note: we do not follow up on reports of improperly emptied containers when temperatures drop below freezing.

  • Why should I separate organic waste?

    We can recycle organic waste. We use the organic waste and prunings we collect to make compost. That’s good for the natural environment because compost helps keep soil healthy. Local farmers use it on their fields or it gets mixed into bags of potting soil, for example. By separating your organic waste, you are returning it to the earth. It also saves you money. Because the organic waste and prunings do not end up in your miscellaneous waste, you can cut down on the number of bags you buy and the money you spend on them. Separating organic waste also helps to prevent odours and vermin. Birds, cats, dogs or other animals no longer have any reason to look for food in the miscellaneous waste bag. That helps keep Maastricht a clean and pleasant place to live.

    Did you know that food scraps still often end up in the miscellaneous waste bag? About 35% to 40% of the waste in these bags consists of food scraps. We can all do our part to lower that percentage.

    Can biodegradable packaging go with organic waste?

    Biodegradable plastic bowls and packaging have to be disposed of with the residual waste. And not, as many people think, in the green bin. They do not compost fast enough to make compost, so they may not be put in the organic waste. 

    What is allowed? A biodegradable bin liner to keep your green bin clean and fresh. But be careful: only use bags with a kiemplantlogo or OK-compost logo.

    What happens to the organic waste from my green bin?

    The organic waste from your green bin goes to the composting plant in Maastricht's Beatrixhaven industrial estate. There it is turned into compost and sent to local farmers or ends up in bags of potting soil sold at garden centres. Compost is a product that improves the soil and makes it more fertile.

    What happens to organic waste if I put it in the miscellaneous waste bag?

    The waste in the miscellaneous waste bag goes to the waste incineration plant. If you do not separate your organic waste, then we cannot recycle it. We can only turn it into compost if you put it in the green bin. Compost helps keep the soil healthy and that is better for the environment.

    Can't the municipality just separate/sort my waste at the plant?

    Post-collection separation is very difficult because unseparated (miscellaneous) waste is usually compacted and dirty, making it difficult to separate. Even when it can be separated, the quality is often poor, making it more difficult to recycle. Organic waste cannot be separated after collection anyway because it is too wet. It has been contaminated by other waste and is no longer suitable for composting. Maastricht has opted to separate as much waste as possible at the source so that we have more and cleaner separated waste that can be used to make new products.

    Am I required to separate my organic waste?

    Yes, that has been laid down in the Municipal Waste Management Ordinance (Article 9 paragraph 1 and Article 10 paragraph 2).

  • How can I dispose of my garden prunings?

    You may place two bundles of prunings outside with your green bucket or container every week. The bundles should measure no more than 150 cm in length and 50 cm in diameter and weigh a maximum of 25 kilos. Use sisal or cotton twine to tie up the prunings. You may not put out tree trunks and other bulky garden waste with your green bin. You can dispose of these free of charge at the recycling centre. You can also put twigs and small branches in the green bucket or container. Make sure that you cut them down to size so that the bucket or container closes properly and can be emptied easily. 

    What about larger branches or other wood waste?

    You may not put out thick branches/trunks, tree stumps or wood waste to be collected with your organic waste. You must dispose of these at the recycling centre.

  • Prevention is better than cure

    Organic waste that does not exist in the first place cannot become a nuisance. Try to plan ahead before you shop so that you do not have any unnecessary organic waste. Did you know that we throw away 34 kilos of good food per person every year? And did you know that separating waste properly means you will spend less money on miscellaneous waste bags? Tips on how to avoid food waste can be found on the Milieu Centraal website.

    Tips for keeping your green bucket or container fresh and clean
    • Put your green bin outside for collection every week (for free), even if it is not completely full.
    • Place a page of old newspaper or an empty egg carton on the bottom of the green container or bucket. It will keep the waste from sticking to the bottom.
    • Do not throw wet waste into the container or bucket to keep it from fermenting and causing a bad odour. Drain wet food in a sieve in the sink.
    • Wrap food scraps and fish and meat in a newspaper or a biodegradable bin liner to avoid attracting flies.
    • Use a compostable/biodegradable bin liner. Make sure that the liner has an OK compost or seedling logo.
    • Put a bowl of fruit vinegar with a few drops of washing-up liquid next to the green container or bucket to kill off fruit flies.
    • Clean the emptied container or bucket regularly. Use boiling water and a dash of vinegar or green soap. Allow the bucket to dry before you start filling it again.