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Friesland: Separating waste in Leeuwarden

Issue #02

Living on your own, perhaps even in a new country, brings a lot of unfamiliar responsibilities. For instance, separating your waste. When is my garbage picked up? How do I separate it the best way? What goes in which bin?  


Omrin (stands for ‘cycle’ in Frysian) collects and processes the garbage in Leeuwarden and in many other municipalities in the Northern region of The Netherlands. This company tries to optimally collect waste and produce it into sustainable energy. They recover the raw materials from garbage as well. Their goal is to have a circular economy in which waste is reused and thrown away as little as possible. Unfortunately, most of the information about Omrin and waste in Leeuwarden is only available in Dutch and otherwise translated by Google Translate. But that’s why we’re here to explain!   


Every household in Leeuwarden gets 4 garbage containers. You get one green container which is for vegetables, fruit and garden waste. Then, there is one for chemical waste which is a red container. Another one is for paper waste and the last one is a grey sorting bin for plastic, metals and drink carton but also for waste that can’t be returned separately such as the bag of your favorite chips. However, if you live in a flat, you can use collection containers that you can use with your ‘environment card’. You can throw your vegetable, fruit and garden waste in a mini container or a so-called city bin. You might ask why plastic and drink carton is thrown in the same container but Omrin separates this themselves when the containers are picked up. Yet some garbage needs to be separated at home since the materials can otherwise disrupt the recycling process when put together in the same container. 

For glass or textile, there are separate containers spread over the city. You can find these for example at the Jumbo near NHL Stenden and at the Schrans near the Action. You can also sell your old clothes online (see an article on this on our blog).  

Garbage pick up  

If you want to know when your garbage is picked up by Omrin, you can go to their site and fill in your postal code and house number at the ‘Afvalkalender’ (waste calendar). You can also choose to translate this page by marking the text and clicking on Vertalen. The site will then be translated by Google Translate in the language of your choice. Find the calendar here:  

A small step that you can take in this is to get different bins in your home to separate your trash the right way. The waste that we create can be used again and made into new products, which is better for our world! 

#StayGreen 🌎🌿

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