Recycling and waste disposal

Switzerland is very conscientious when it comes to the environment.  The recycling system is well organized, and every village has its own Abfuhr/Abfallplan (waste disposal and recycling plan), which you can get from your Gemeinde/Townhall.

To avoid fines, you must use special trash bags or stickers for your village where you live and follow the local rules. Inform yourself about the waste-disposal and recycling-system through your neighbours or at the Gemeinde.

There are several recycling centers around the Canton where you can bring your recycling.

Also please check the waste leaflet provided by your municipality "Gemeinde" or download here the calendar in English 

How to reduce waste in three easy stages:
Before buying any article, always ask yourself: do I really need this? Make sure you do not buy superfluous products. Choose long-lasting and ecologically acceptable products. Give back superfluous packaging.
Buy products that can be repaired. If possible, buy products in recyclable bottles and containers. Avoid leftovers. Always buy only as much as you really need.  
Choose recoverable materials such as paper, glass and metal. Whether at home or at work, you can use the same packaging or container several times. If you buy recycling products, the raw materials cycle is completed. Kitchen and garden waste can be composted on the balcony or in the garden, or can be put out for the vegetable waste collection ("Green Collection").

Any other questions?
If you have any other questions please contact your local environmental office. The staff at your local waste collection centre will always be pleased to help you too.

Sort your refuse!
The following materials may not be thrown into the refuse bag: 

Vegetable waste: 

The composting of food leftovers and garden waste produces excellent humus soil. Vegetable waste may not be brought to the waste collection centre, but can be put out for the vegetable waste collection ("Green Collection").

Used glass: 
Reusable glass bottles and recipients can be returned to the shop. Unwanted glass - both broken and unbroken (Chianti bottles together with the basket) - should be thrown into the bottle bank, in the appropriate container according to colour. Used glass can be collected and used for the manufacture of new bottles.
Used metal: 

Bring used metal to your local waste collection centre. Tinplate and aluminium tins are collected separately. After collection, used metal is melted down and recycled.
Return old tyres to the garage or the place where you bought your old or new tyres. They can be specially processed or used as fuel for the manufacture of cement.
Give clean clothing which is in good condition to the charities that organise collections. You will receive special plastic bags for this purpose.
Waste oil: 
Oils - whether mineral (e.g. motor oil) or vegetable (e.g. cooking/salad oil) - are special waste material. Always bring waste oil separately to your mechanical specialist or to the waste collection centre. Never pour it into the wastewater system (e.g. washbasins, sinks or drainage).  
Electrical appliances: 
Defective televisions, computers, radios, refrigerators etc. should if possible be returned to the original supplier or taken to a shop selling new appliances. Retailers are obliged to take these appliances back free of charge. Alternatively, they may be brought to the waste collection centre.  
Fluorescent lamps: 

Return fluorescent lamps and energy-saving lamps to the place where you bought them, or bring them to the waste collection centre. Their contents will be suitably destroyed. Metal and glass parts will be recycled.
Collect paint, lacquer, medicines, poisonous substances and chemicals separately and bring them to your drugstore or pharmacist.
Batteries and car batteries: 
Return these to the sales point or garage where they were purchased, or else bring them to the waste collection centre. They will be recycled.