How to Properly Sort Household Waste in Poland and Slovakia

Date 23.07.2023
Agnieszka Zagroba
How to Properly Sort Household Waste in Poland and Slovakia
How to Properly Sort Household Waste in Poland and Slovakia

As we strive towards a more sustainable future, the responsible management of household waste plays a crucial role. If you’re relocating to Poland or Slovakia, it’s essential to understand the waste sorting systems in these countries.
All the rules might feel overwhelming. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

Strong Advocates for Sustainability

At ProRelo, we are strong advocates for sustainability, and we actively promote waste sorting and recycling among expatriates moving to Poland and Slovakia. We believe that each small step towards proper waste management can make a significant impact on the environment. So, let’s join hands and make a positive change together!


In this guide, we will explain the general rules of sorting household waste in Poland and Slovakia, making it easy for you to do your part in preserving the environment.


Poland and Slovakia, like many other countries in the European Union, have strict waste management regulations to promote recycling and proper waste disposal. The following waste sorting guidelines that we are sharing below are practiced across both countries.

How to separate waste at home in Poland and Slovakia?

To get started, let’s talk about how you can separate waste within your home. It’s as simple as having separate bins or containers for different types of waste. Here are the general categories: 

  • Residual (Mixed) Waste: Non-recyclable and non-compostable waste, such as food-contaminated packaging, certain plastics, and items that cannot be recycled or composted.
  • Recyclable Waste: Materials that can be recycled, such as paper, cardboard, glass, metal, and certain types of plastics.
  • Organic Waste: Biodegradable waste like food scraps and garden waste, which can be composted or processed into biogas.
  • Hazardous Waste: Potentially harmful waste, like batteries, fluorescent bulbs, and certain chemicals, which requires special handling and disposal.

How does waste is collected?

To make things even more straightforward, local municipalities or waste management companies provide separate waste collection services. Each type of waste is collected separately, and it’s your responsibility to ensure that you put the correct waste in the appropriate bins on designated collection days.

Hazardous waste, such as batteries, electronic waste, or chemicals, must be disposed of separately. Local recycling centers or designated drop-off points accept these items.

Our consultant will inform you about the nearest drop-off point in your neighborhood. 

Why is it important to separate waste?

  • Recyclable Waste is transported to recycling facilities, where it undergoes processing to be transformed into new products. This includes sorting, cleaning, and reprocessing the materials.

  • Organic Waste, such as food scraps and garden trimmings, is often composted to produce nutrient-rich compost that can be used for gardening and landscaping.

  • Hazardous Waste Disposal: Hazardous waste is collected separately and taken to special facilities for safe disposal to prevent environmental contamination.

  • Avoid fines If residents fail to comply with the waste sorting regulations, they may be subject to fines or penalties. The specific fines and penalties for incorrect waste sorting can vary depending on the municipality and the severity of the offense. In some cases, warnings may be issued for first-time offenders, but repeated violations can result in fines.

Color-coded containers for recyclable waste in Poland and Slovakia

Containers are often color-coded to make waste sorting and recycling easier for residents. The following colour scheme is used in Poland and Slovakia:

  • Blue: The blue recycling container is typically used for collecting paper and cardboard waste. Residents are encouraged to place newspapers, magazines, cardboard boxes, office paper, and other paper-based materials in the blue container.
  • Green: The green recycling container is commonly used for glass waste. Residents are asked to place glass bottles and jars in the green container. Some regions may have separate containers for different colors of glass, such as clear, green, and brown.
  • Yellow: The yellow recycling container is for collecting plastic and metal waste. It is used for items like plastic bottles, beverage cartons, metal cans, and aluminum foil. Tetrapack cartons fall into this category in Poland and Slovakia. 
  • Brown: The brown container is typically designated for organic waste or compostable materials, such as food scraps, fruit and vegetable peels, coffee grounds, and garden trimmings. This waste is often composted to create nutrient-rich compost.
  • Black: The gray or black container is used for mixed residual waste. This includes items that cannot be recycled or composted, such as certain types of plastic, soiled packaging, and non-recyclable paper.

I am not sure which color-coded container to use for separating my waste. Now what?

If you’re ever unsure about which container to use for a specific type of waste, here’s what you can do:
  • Contact your ProRelo Relocation Consultants and request a brochure. 

  • Look for Signs: Many waste collection points in your building have signs or labels indicating which waste should be placed in each container. Ask your landlord or ProRelo relocation consultant for an English version.

  • Ask Neighbours: If you are new to the area or unsure about waste separation practices, consider asking your neighbors or members of the local community. They may be able to provide you with helpful tips or information.

  • Online Resources: Check the official website of your municipality. Many local authorities have websites with detailed waste separation guidelines and information for residents.

Together we can preserve the environment for future generations

Together, we can make a significant difference in preserving the environment for future generations.
If you ever need further assistance or have any questions about waste sorting or any other aspect of your relocation, our team at ProRelo is here for you. Feel free to reach out to us anytime for support. We’re dedicated to making your relocation experience smooth and eco-friendly!



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