Recycling in Prague
We are slowly, but surely approaching the last parts of the 5R pyramid. In today's article, we'll have a look at where, what, and how can we recycle in Prague. Recycling is definitely a great way of dealing with waste. However, before you take your trash to a recycling bin, ask yourself if the previous three “R principles” (refuse, reduce, reuse) could be applied. Remember, that recycling is the fourth-best option, not the first one!
What can we recycle?
In Prague, you can recycle the following materials:
beverage boxes (tetrapak)
2. Where can we recycle?
Most materials can be put into the stationary “colored bins” that can be found basically everywhere. There are surely some near your home, too!
Which colour is for which trash?
For other types of waste, the following options exist in Prague:
Collecting yard (“sběrný dvůr”) - accepts large waste (construction waste, furniture, electronic appliances etc.), hazardous waste, and also biological waste.
There are not so many in Prague. You can find the nearest one on this map: https://sberny-dvur-praha.cz/seznam-sbernych-dvoru/
Special containers for small electronic devices and batteries - owned by the Asekol company, the red containers can be found either on the street next to the recycling bins, or in selected shops (DM, Tesco Express…).
Brown bins for biological waste - in Prague, they are are available only on demand by the owner of the building. I will write more about this topic in the next article focused on composting. There are also brown or black bins for edible oils/fats in some places.
Textile waste bins - they are organized by several organizations (Potex, Klokánek, Diakonie Broumov), some of the collected clothes are donated to charity, rest goes for recycling.
3. How can we recycle?
Most people think that they can throw basically anything that's made from plastic into the yellow bin, anything from paper into the blue one, etc. Well...no. There are several rules that you should bear in mind next time you recycle.
Paper - no books, no diapers, no receipts, no dirty or greasy material (so no, you can't recycle pizza boxes and paper tissues).
Plastics - no greasy/dirty packaging with food on it (the only exception are yogurt pots), no packaging with leftover paint, cleaning or chemical products.
Glass - you don't need to clean the glass containers, nor take away the lid. Separate the colored and white glass and don't throw in returnable bottles (return them instead). :-)
Beverage boxes (tetrapak) - press them well and preferably also rinse.
Metal - you can leave the beverage/food cans here, but don't throw in metal products/devices made from several materials or cans with leftover paint or any hazardous waste.
Textile - bring only clean clothes/shoes that are not destroyed and still wearable, and put them into plastic bags.
Edible oil/fat (leftover oil/fat from frying/baking etc.) - they have to be put into a plastic bottle.
Tip! Did you know that you should “recycle” medicine, too? In Czechia, you can bring expired or unused medicine to your nearest pharmacy.
Mobile waste collection
To end this article, I would like to mention that Prague offers also a “mobile waste collection” (mobilní sběr odpadu) - on certain dates, a waste collection vehicle comes to different parts of the city, so that you can hand in the waste that cannot be put into the standard recycling bins (hazardous waste, large waste, edible oils/fats).
Check the nearest date of hazardous waste collection in your neighborhood here:
For large waste collection, go here:
Bear in mind, that in order to hand in this type of “special” waste, you need to have a permanent residence in Prague.
Once again, recycling is great and I believe we all should sort our waste out. However, there are better ways of dealing with waste - those that don't create it in the first place (refusing, reducing and reusing). Please don't forget about that. :-)