FAQ - I am citizen

Food waste sorting

  • Will orange bags be collected twice a week?

    The frequency of orange bag collection is currently being reassessed by the Agency. New collection scenarios are being developed to optimise waste sorting while respecting regional budget constraints. However, it is stressed that increasing the frequency of collection would entail significant financial costs linked to the increased mobilisation of logistical and human resources.
    The Agency recognises the public's concerns about waste management and strives to find solutions that meet their needs while respecting budgetary constraints. The public's expectations are taken into account in the development of collection scenarios. Final decisions will be communicated as soon as they have been taken and implemented.

  • Where can I find my orange bag?

    The Region’s bin bags marked ‘Bruxelles-Propreté’ are available in supermarkets and some retail outlets. They are the only waste bags authorised for the collection of household food waste.

    We have been working to educate the retail sector about the increased demand for regulatory orange bag rolls that accompanies the introduction of mandatory food waste sorting.

    Sufficient supplies have been produced. However, some stores may be overwhelmed by the high demand and may be temporarily out of stock.

    We suggest that you report this lack of orange bags on the shelves to the store managers, who will be sure to inform you of an upcoming restock. If this is not enough, feel free to purchase your orange bags at other stores near you.

  • Where can I deposit my used cooking oil?

    You can drop off your cooking oil at an Oliobox collection point:

    1. Condition: Pour the cold frying oil into the original packaging or into an empty plastic bottle.
    2. Close: Close the bottle tightly and take it to your nearest collection point.
    3. Drop off: Deposit the closed bottle in an OlioBox near you.
  • Where and how are orange bags processed?

    Where and how are orange bags processed?

    The waste from the orange bag is processed at the biomethanization centers in Ypres and Liège.
    One of the first stages is digestion of the waste by bacteria in an oxygen-free reactor for 15 days at 37°C.

    This produces gas (methane) and digestate (solid part):

    • The gas is burned to produce electricity and heat.
    • The digestate is mixed with garden waste to produce compost.

    Once the orange bags have been emptied of their contents, they are disposed of separately and then incinerated with energy recovery. For more information, visit: https://www.bru-energie.be 
    Please note that this situation is temporary, as a biomethanization center is due to open in the Brussels region in 2026.

  • When will the sorting of food waste become mandatory?

    The sorting of food waste is mandatory throughout the Region since 15 May 2023.

  • What support measures have been arranged?

    • The development of sorting guides and activities to support households with the changes
    • The mass distribution of small orange bins (more than 100,000 have already been distributed)
    • The provision of large orange containers (240 L) to apartment buildings whose waste is collected in containers 
    • The network of 210 local composting facilities whose density will continue to be increased
    • A website dedicated to food waste management has been developed with information and practical advice: dechetsalimentaires.brussels
  • What can be put in the orange bag?

    Only food waste:

    • meal leftovers
    • expired foods without their packaging
    • fruit and vegetable peel
    •  tea bags
    • coffee grounds
    • paper towels, tissues and paper napkins

    Note prohibited items such as fish bones, animal bones or egg shells. Consult our website dechetsalimentaires.brussels for more information.

  • What are the benefits of collecting food waste?

    • It makes your white bag lighter
    • The amount of waste sent to the incinerator is reduced
    • Heat, electricity or natural fertiliser can be produced from the food waste, depending on the process used.

    You can find more information about the obligation to sort food waste at sort your food waste

  • Now that sorting food waste is mandatory, is the orange bag the only solution?

    We offer three alternatives to citizens in the Brussels Region:

  • Am I obliged to put my waste in the orange bag?

    Food waste should always go in a closed orange bag.

    If there is door-to-door collection where you live, your food waste must not be thrown directly into the orange container. Your orange bag, with or without its orange container, must be put out in front of your home on collection day.

    If you live in a building where food waste is collected in large containers, you can put your tightly tied orange bags in the large orange container. This will be emptied once a week by a collector appointed by your residents’ association. 

Put out your bags

  • Who is the new calendar for?

    All inhabitants of the Brussels Region who put their waste bags out on the pavement. Those who live in apartment buildings with a bin room and a large container on wheels do not have to do things differently.

  • Where can I find my new calendar indicating when to put out my bags?

    The new bag calendar was distributed to the mailboxes of all Brussels residents between 2 and 12 May 2023. You can also find it here.

  • What are the main changes to the output of waste bag calendar?

    The new calendar no longer indicates the day and time when bags are collected, but the day and time when residents must put out their waste bags.

  • How do I put out my bin bags?

    1. Always keep bags tightly closed.
    2. 15 kg maximum per bag.
    3. Sharp waste wrapped in advance.
    4. Bags placed along your facade.
    5. Days and times of removal respected.
  • Can I put my white and blue bin liners in a rigid bin?

    The use of a rigid bin to dispose of your refuse bags is authorised in certain cases. The following rules must be followed: 

    • Rigid bins are authorised for white and blue bags.
    • Rigid bins may not exceed 80 litres. 
    • Bags of different colours may not be mixed in the same bin. You will therefore need one rigid bin for white and one for blue, because if you put bags of different colours on top of each other, there is a great risk that they will not be seen by our staff. 
    • Do not use lids.
    • The rigid bins must be against the facades and visible.
    rigid tray
  • When will the new calendar indicating when to put out your bags start?

    The new calendar indicating when to put out your bags, which replaces the old collection calendar, starts on 15 May 2023.

  • Can I put out my waste bags on public holidays?

    Yes, we collect your waste bags on public holidays, at the usual times.

  • In which municipalities will the white bags now only be collected once a week?

    Uccle, Watermael-Boitsfort, Auderghem, Woluwe-Saint-Pierre, Woluwe-Saint-Lambert, Evere, Jette, Ganshoren, Koekelberg, Berchem-Sainte-Agathe, Haren and Neder-over-Heembeek.

    All the other municipalities will continue to have their white bags collected twice a week.

    The municipalities where the general system (zone 1) involves the collection of white bags once a week include some areas bordering on municipalities where white bags are collected twice a week. In these border areas, the collection of white bags (for operational reasons related to the division of municipalities) may take place twice a week. 
    Conversely, some municipalities where white bags are collected twice a week may have areas bordering on municipalities where they are collected once a week. For the reasons explained above, white bags may be collected once a week in these areas.
    These two cases are exceptions to the general model (zone 1) which applies in the municipality, and only relate to a small number of streets.
    The bag calendars are available here.



  • How were the municipalities where the white bags will be collected less often chosen?

    The choice of these municipalities was made on the basis of a combination of criteria, including:

    • population density
    • the proportion of the population living in multi-storey housing with large containers.

    The most densely populated municipalities in the Region are not affected by the reduced frequency of white bag collection.

  • Why reduce the frequency of white bag collection in certain municipalities?

    With the introduction of mandatory sorting of food waste and the increase in the range of packaging accepted in the PMD blue bag, the use of white bags will automatically decrease. The white bag collection frequency can therefore be gradually decreased.

  • What are the benefits of reducing the frequency of white bag collection?

    The collective benefits of the changes to the calendar relate to the environment and public cleanliness, of course.

    At regional level, the new calendar, combined with the rules on sorting food waste, will lead to a significant reduction in CO2 emissions, which will help achieve the objectives of the Brussels Region’s Air, Climate and Energy Plan.

    Fewer trucks on our roads also helps to avoid traffic congestion, which again means a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

  • How are the evening collections organised?

    Evening collections take place currently as part of the reorganisation of waste collection. They are mainly being introduced on the Region’s major thoroughfares, which experience significant traffic pressure.

    These collections begin at 8 pm and are performed by midnight in the vast majority of cases: the Bruxelles-Propreté depots are closed at 2 am, so collection activities are be completed well before then.

    Bruxelles-Propreté uses also its most recent trucks, which are the least noisy. It will also make sure that its collection personnel are aware of the issue of noise in connection with waste collecting activities.

    All the municipalities in the Region will have evening collections. 

  • What are the benefits of evening collections?

    Evening collections have some definite positive benefits for the people of Brussels:

    • Bags left out on the street for less time.
    • Improved mobility and smoother traffic flow at busy times of day.
    • Increased effectiveness of Bruxelles-Propreté́’s work thanks to better coordination between collection and cleaning activities.
  • My waste bag will now be collected in the evening. When must I put it out?

    If your waste bag is collected in the evening, you must put it out between 6 and 8 pm.
    You can find all the information you need in the calendars.

  • I would like to consult the calendar indicating when to put out the bags containing household waste.

    Find your personal calendar here

  • What are the penalties for failing to comply with the waste bag calendar?

    After a period of adaptation, the Bruxelles-Propreté teams will issue fines for breaches of the bag calendar. The amount of the fine is between 50 and 200 euros (excluding costs and increased amounts for repeat offences).

  • What arrangements have been made for small dwellings?

    The situation of those living in smaller dwellings has been taken into consideration in the reorganisation of household waste collection. This explains why the reduction in the frequency of white bag collections has been gradual, and why the most densely populated municipalities in the Region have not been affected by the reduction in the frequency of white bag collections.

    Those whose waste is collected in containers – some of whom are occupants of smaller dwellings – are not affected by the reduction in the frequency of white bag collections either.

    To know the measures planned for the food waste sorting, please refer to the section food waste sorting: What support measures have been arranged?

Nitrous oxide cylinders

  • Where can I take my nitrous oxide cylinders and what are the instructions?


    The cylinders must be emptied properly and must not end up in building containers, rubbish bags or public litter garbage cans.

Waste bags

  • Where can I buy the regulatory bags?

    The Region’s bin bags marked ‘Bruxelles-Propreté’ are available in supermarkets and some retail outlets. They are the only waste bags authorised for the collection of household food waste.

  • What is the volume of the waste bags?

    • White bag: available in 2 sizes: 30,60 liters.
    • Blue bag: 50, 100 liters.
    • Yellow bag: 30 liters. It is also possible to put the paper and cartons in a pile with a strong tie. 
    • Orange bag: 30 liters.

    If I have a comment on the quality of the bags, I can contact Bruxelles-Propreté on 0800/981 81 or by email via info@arp-gan.be.

Waste sorting

  • What can I do if my waste hasn’t been collected?

    Contact Bruxelles-Propreté on 0800/981 81 or by e-mail via info@arp-gan.be.

  • I need information on special home removals.

  • I have a very young child, and lots of dirty nappies end up in the bin. What should I do about this?

    Disposable nappies are non-recyclable household residual waste items that must go in the white bags. In order to minimise smells, disposable nappies can be stored in a closed rigid container before being thrown away in the white bags.

    The use of washable nappies is an alternative that generates less waste than disposable nappies. Various municipalities in the Brussels Region offer bonuses for the purchase or rental of washable nappies.  Contact your municipality directly to find out if it offers these bonuses. Brussels Environment has also gathered together a lot of useful information about washable nappies. 

  • Are you going to develop more sorting areas or underground containers?

    Twenty projects are in the pipeline. However, the widespread use of this collection method is not on the agenda for a number of reasons:

    • the quality of sorting from underground containers is still subject to improvement (studies previously carried out by Fost on the underground systems of various inter-municipal companies show a lower quality of sorting than for door-to-door collection)
    • it does not solve the problem of public cleanliness (illegal dumping is very frequently observed around underground containers)
    • it's not always possible, or desirable, to bury containers in the ground, for reasons of clutter or preservation of the Brussels subsoil and public space.


  • Are Bruxelles-Propreté agents allowed to present greetings at the end of the year, and if so, when?

    Every year at the same time, the employees of Bruxelles-Propreté present their best wishes to the public. This is a form of custom that is observed in many professions throughout the country. 

    That said, Bruxelles-Propreté stresses that it is up to the people of Brussels to determine the best way to express their sympathy for the work of public cleaners. 

    To better identify the men and women who, come rain, snow or shine, pick up the rubbish bags of the people of Brussels, and to take the wind out of the sails of any impostors posing as our officers, here's what you need to know:

    • Agence Bruxelles-Propreté staff are authorised to present their greetings to the residents of the Brussels region within a set period of time. This generally takes place in the first half of December. Bruxelles-Propreté systematically communicates the official dates, so the public does not have to welcome people who turn up outside the dates communicated.
    • The cleaners always carry an official leaflet which certifies that they belong to our company. Agents sometimes drop a flyer with the composition of their team into residents' letterboxes. It's a document that helps them to avoid potential impostors, but it's not official. When the teams pass by, always ask for the official document as shown on our website and social networks.
    • The teams organise themselves so that there is only one pass per house for each type of bag collected.
    • Wishes are presented outside team working hours.


  • Why doesn't Bruxelles-Propreté use containers instead of bags?

    We collect in 3 ways: bags, mechanised containers and sorting areas (underground containers). 
    Bags are mainly used for houses and small buildings, mechanised containers are mainly used for large companies with sufficient storage space and large buildings, and sorting areas or underground containers are used for new or recently built blocks of flats with more than 150 units.
    In addition to these collections, Bruxelles-Propreté manages a network of bottle banks throughout Brussels.

  • Why can't we make underground wheelie bins the norm on the streets of Brussels?

    The urban layout of Brussels, its population density and the size of its arterial roads make it difficult to install containers permanently on the streets, as this would require complex urban redevelopment and would imply massive investment in collection equipment, works and haulage. It would also have a significant impact on other urban functions, such as movement and parking. Based on its experience in installing underground glass bins, Bruxelles-Propreté believes that many neighbourhoods cannot be equipped with underground systems because Brussels has many pipes running underground.

    In the case of wheeled containers, the issue is not so much the technical arrangements underground as the placement of these containers in particularly dense neighbourhoods. Finally, some of our studies indicate that the presence of containers tends to make some citizens less responsible for sorting, with recycling results below average.

    Our experience with glass bubbles suggests that fixed points are often seen by many people as places where they can leave their rubbish without worrying about the nuisance to people living nearby. The installation of wheeled bins could generate the same type of problem. It is not uncommon for some local authorities to do away with these glass bubbles in order to take the wind out of the sails of these indelicate citizens.  

  • What are the advantages of door-to-door collection over containers?

    Door-to-door collection ensures maximum proximity without the need to travel for people with reduced mobility, the elderly and working people. It's a tried and tested service that is organised in the same way in many other European cities. Many Brussels residents are keen to use it. We have also noticed that some of the collection points tend to become rubbish dumps.

  • What about new homes?

    For new buildings, sorting areas with underground containers have been developed in partnership with property developers or social housing managers. As a result, about ten neighbourhoods are equipped with sorting areas and about twenty projects will be equipped over the next few years. The purchase of underground containers is the responsibility of the applicant (e.g. property developer), not the Agency.

  • What initiatives are underway to improve waste management?

    Bruxelles-Propreté is carrying out a study on the performance of voluntary drop-off collection, in particular via sorting centres. The main objective of this study is to examine the performance of the voluntary collection of household waste (in particular via sorting centres) in urban contexts comparable to the Brussels Region. The aim is to assess the possibilities for optimising the performance of the sorting facilities already installed in the Region and to analyse the benefits of (and conditions for) introducing this type of infrastructure in other types of neighbourhoods or residential areas in Brussels.