Recycling in Vienna

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Ever wondered: should I or should I not throw that jar in the general waste? Should I really dump that newspaper with the rest? Well, you shouldn’t and Vienna offers you plenty of opportunities to love this city and save the planet even if just with a small tiny step by recycling as much as you can. When it comes to the best-used recycling possibilities made available to its residents, Vienna is the top city in Austria and actually Europe-wide in the top recycling cities. How can you help make it a little greener? Here is some general info you might find useful and hopefully apply on a daily basis.


These are the containers you can find all over the city which are there for the disposal of regular and daily waste, with the colour on the bin and lid indicating what type of rubbish they are for:

Red – paper, yellow pages, magazines, cardboard
Brown – organic waste (fruit, veg, plants and weeds, no food waste!)
Blue – metals (cans, cables, Nespresso capsules, pans/metallic kitchenware, metallic bottle caps)
Yellow – plastics (bottles, cups etc.)
Note: from 2020 the blue and yellow containers will be merged into a yellow one.
Orange – general waste
White and green (normally next to each other)
white = colourless “white” glass; green = coloured glass.

Re-usable glass bottles

Please note that there are a lot of re-usable glass bottles here in Austria, which you can return at collection points mostly in grocery stores. Look for the word ‘Pfandflasche’ if it says that – this means that a deposit is paid for the bottle – just return it at the machine and you’ll get the few cents deposit back!!!

Special waste disposal

There are several ways to get rid of your old junk or care about our environment in Vienna:

A. Most of the special waste goes to and through the large waste collection points situated all over Vienna, here the link to their 19 locations in Vienna with their addresses and an interactive map:

At these collection points you can find the problematic/bulk waste collection points.

B. However, the city’s MA48 responsible for garbage and waste also has mobile problematic waste collection points, meaning they go to different residential locations and wait for people to come to them with their waste. These collections are on different days, and at different times and locations. As a rule during the week they ar there for 2 hours, on Saturdays for 5 hours. For a timetable of the coming 4 weeks, please visit this link:

Here a little info on what goes where with regards to other waste.

  • Used Cooking Oils: you can get an orange 3-liter plastic bucket at one of the several waste collection points. Once full, return to one of the collections points where you can exchange the full one against a fresh empty one.
  • Batteries: a small handy battery collection box is available at the waste collections points where you can also return it when it is full. Batteries also tend to be collected at grocery stores, look for a “Batterie-Sammelbox”
  • Electrical appliances: can be dropped off at the waste / bulk and household collection points as described above.
  • Energy Saving Lamps: these are collected at stores and the big waste collection points.
  • Wood, Kitchen appliances, bulk waste, and other waste: All go to the big waste collection points where you will find separate containers for different types of non-general household waste.
  • Christmas trees: there are special Christmas tree collection points during early January.

So, dear environmentally friendly VEers – Be green, be merry and go hug a tree!