How to maintain your home and recycle your waste

Recycling and waste sorting in Luxembourg

Luxembourg residents maintain their homes. It's a legal obligation. But they also throw away a lot of garbage.

In 2022, Luxembourg will rank third in Europe for the amount of household waste it produces. Each resident discharges an average of 721 kilos of waste per year, or almost 2 kg per day. So, if we can't reduce this amount, how can we at least sort and recycle it? We tell you all about it here.

Maintaining your home in Luxembourg

In Luxembourg, home maintenance is an obligation for both owners and tenants. Tenants must take care of minor repairs for day-to-day maintenance. Landlords, on the other hand, are responsible for providing a property that is in good condition and healthy to live in. All major repairs are the responsibility of the landlord. 

The tenant's obligation to maintain the property in Luxembourg

In addition to paying rent on time, tenants are responsible for the day-to-day upkeep of their property. In particular, tenants must ensure that locks work properly and change burnt-out light bulbs. They must also have the boiler serviced annually by an authorized service provider.

At the end of the lease, the tenant is required to return the property in a clean condition, excluding normal wear and tear. This applies in particular to paintwork, where normal "wear and tear" is tolerated. On the other hand, the tenant must repair any holes in the walls or floors, or any other damage to the property. This means that any decoration work or alterations to the property must be authorized in advance by the landlord.

When the tenant vacates the premises, the landlord can demand that the property be returned in exactly the same condition as when he moved in. See our instructions for renting accommodation in Luxembourg.

In the event of disagreement, the landlord can withhold the security deposit requested at the start of the lease. Every year, the Luxembourg courts handle numerous disputes between landlords and tenants.

Landlords' obligations to tenants

Landlords must provide their tenants with safe, sanitary accommodation that is in good working order and does not endanger the safety or health of the occupants . Any work required to bring the property up to standard, or to repair faulty parts or damage caused by an incident, is the responsibility of the landlord.

Structural work involving major expenditure is normally the owner's responsibility. However, agreements can be negotiated between the two parties, in return for a rent rebate for example.

Hiring cleaning staff to maintain your home

To maintain your home, you can hire cleaning staff directly. Employers of domestic staff must comply with Luxembourg labor legislation. They will sign an employment contract with their household staff.

To maintain your home, you can also call on companies specializing in cleaning and maintenance. These companies will be responsible for all administrative matters relating to the hiring of the employee. They will then invoice the beneficiary household for the cleaning or maintenance services provided. It is also possible to work with companies specializing in personal services.

Did you know that you can deduct household expenses from your taxable income?

Sidewalks must be kept clear

In Luxembourg, in the event of frost or snow, occupants of a building or house must clear clogged or frozen sidewalks in front of their property. Even if the sidewalks belong to the local authority, residents must clear a 1 m-wide strip to allow pedestrian traffic.

Occupants should also spread a material to prevent frost and therefore slipping in front of their building. Coarse anti-freeze salt is readily available at supermarkets and gas stations in winter.

In the event of a fall in front of your home, you'll need to prove that you've taken the necessary steps to clean the sidewalks and prevent falls. In the event of an accident, your civil liability insurance may be called into play. Make sure you're properly insured!

If you want to maintain good relations with your neighbors, it's important to keep the outside of your home in good order. Don't leave anything lying around!

Waste collection and hygiene services

When you register as a resident , your local authority will offer you a number of specific garbage cans and other containers .

A company appointed by the commune will periodically collect these containers according to a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly schedule. Your local council will keep you regularly informed of the collection schedule.

Your household waste, green waste, glass bottles, paper and newspapers will also be collected regularly for a fee from your local council. The cost of the fee is either fixed or calculated according to the number of times you use the service.

For the City of Luxembourg, you can consult the garbage collection rounds by street on this link .

Garbage collection and garbage can colors

You have household waste to dispose of and garbage cans to empty. Do you need to tidy up your garage or cellar? Do you have unwanted items to recycle? In Luxembourg, waste collection and recycling are managed by the communes.

At a time when we're increasingly vigilant about preserving our planet, here's a reminder to sort your garbage correctly. A number of different-colored garbage cans are available in Luxembourg. How do you find your way around?

Luxembourg grey garbage can for household waste

The grey garbage can collects all your residual non-recyclable household waste. The company in charge will collect your waste regularly and then incinerate it. 

You should also dispose of used tissues and paper towels. This is also the case for cooking paper and plastic packaging, which are not accepted in the blue bag.

Don't put metal or hazardous materials in your grey garbage can. You can dispose of them at a waste disposal center. This also applies to car batteries, printer toner, paint cans, etc. Ask your local council for more information.

Shopping centers collect batteries, used light bulbs and other waste in special containers.

Recycling paper, plastic, garbage and packaging in blue bins

Blue garbage cans for recyclable waste in Luxembourg

The blue garbage can is for recyclable waste such as clean paper and cardboard. Do not throw in pizza boxes, baking paper, sales receipts, greasy, soiled, waxed or laminated paper.

On the other hand, you can dispose of old newspapers or magazines, leaflets, school exercise books, etc. in the blue garbage can.

Even if you can throw books away, think about book exchanges such as book cupboards, or free exchange spaces at recycling centers. This way, your books can find a second life. 

Valorlux blue bags for PMC packaging

Blue PMC (Valorlux) bags are used to recycle packaging waste. They are available free of charge from your local administration. Luxembourg City residents can find these bags at the Bierger-Center, Hôtel de Ville, Badanstalt, Piscine municipale de Bonnevoie, Recycling Center and Service d'Hygiène.

Blue bags are for PMC packaging, i.e. plastic bottles, metal cans and beverage cartons.

You can also include plastic film and bags, plastic pots, trays and cups.

Be careful not to dispose of black or multi-layered plastics such as coffee packets, potato chips or pet food. Styropor or polystyrene is also forbidden. Nor should you throw in medicine leaflets or cardboard paper.

Valorlux "Mon Sac Bleu" app to sort your waste correctly

Valorlux provides a free My Blue Bag app on sorting techniques. Find out more, or you'll be refused collection and issued a red penalty label. You'll be forced to re-sort your waste and have your collection postponed.

The Valorlux app informs you of the collection dates for your blue recycling bags in your commune of residence. "Mon Sac Bleu" also gives you the keys to recycling in compliance with Luxembourg regulations. You'll also find a few tips to prevent your bags from flying away, for example. So you can sort in the best conditions and avoid fines!

The app also provides information on Luxembourg's many sorting yards. It gives you all their contact details and opening hours. There's even a GPS system to help you get there, based on your location in real time!

Would you like to get rid of some waste on your way to the shops ? "Mon Sac Bleu" also informs you about the various RE-BOX collection centers available in certain shopping centers in Luxembourg. An environmentally-friendly way to get rid of waste quickly and easily!

Green garbage can for glass

The green garbage can in Luxembourg is for glass only, such as empty glass bottles. Remember to remove caps, lids and metal or plastic sleeves. Please note that in some communes, the glass garbage can is a different color.

All other types of glass, such as windowpanes and mirrors, as well as earthenware and ceramic dishes, light bulbs and full bottles, should not be disposed of in this way. Light bulbs can be disposed of in shopping center recycling areas.

Organic and biodegradable waste - Biomüll

Collected biodegradable waste is a renewable energy resource, as it is converted into energy. Energy suppliers now offer energy from Biomüll.

For an annual fee, local authorities provide you with special containers for the collection of bio-waste. Ask your local council for details.

The brown garbage can in Luxembourg, green in other communes, collects all your kitchen waste. You can dispose of food scraps, spoiled food, tea bags, coffee grounds, etc. Garden waste (excluding wood), flowers (excluding rose bushes), plants, grass and small animal droppings can also be thrown in. Biodegradable bags are also accepted.

On the other hand, wooden garden waste, plant soil, grease and other oils, ashes, coal, cigarette butts, as well as cat litter and baby diapers are not allowed.

Do you have a garden? Why not set up your own compost bin? You'll be able to use the compost you create for your plants and flowers.

Would you like a garden to grow your own vegetables? See community gardens

Disposing of bulky items in Luxembourg

Bulky items can be collected directly by prior appointment. Ask your local council for details. After affixing a label given to you at the time of the appointment, you can drop off bulky items directly in front of your home. They will be collected at the agreed time.

Waste and recycling centers in Luxembourg

Free access to your local recycling center

Communes also offer their residents free waste and recycling centers. Residents can take their recyclable or toxic waste there, if they don't have all the garbage cans listed above.

Access to recycling centers is free and reserved for local residents. Ask your local council for details.

You can drop off many categories of recyclable waste at municipal waste collection centers: plastic, glass, cardboard, wood, etc. Each material has its own place in the various skips or receptacles available.

You can also take your toxic waste to a waste disposal center. It will be disposed of properly.

Giving a second life to objects in recycling corners

In addition, you'll find a corner in these waste collection centers where you can drop off your unwanted items.

In this way, you leave them available for other people who might be interested in giving them a second life. You can drop off toys, books, children's clothes and decorative items that you no longer need, and which are in good enough condition not to be discarded. It's a good idea to recycle everything. And who knows? Maybe you'll find some bargains yourself that you can give a second life to?

The Ville de Luxembourg recycling center is located at 48 Rue d'Arlon in Luxembourg-Belair. It is also accessible to residents of the commune of Strassen.

Circular economy in Luxembourg

Luxembourg's position on recycling

Until recently, Luxembourg was a poor performer when it came to recycling plastic waste. According to a 2017 Eurostat study, Luxembourg ranked 21st out of 28 EU countries when it came to recycling plastic waste. The average recycling rate in Luxembourg was 33%, compared with a European average of 42%.

On average, a Luxembourg resident throws away almost 800 kg of waste per year, including 52 kg of plastic waste! The Luxembourg government's objective is therefore to limit the use of plastic packaging over the next few years. The target of 40 bags per person per year by 2025, compared with the current 140, illustrates the scale of the challenge. From now on, the distribution of single-use plastic bags in supermarkets and other retail outlets will be prohibited. 

Measures taken in Luxembourg to limit waste 

The new Waste Act 2022 provides for the following measures to be implemented progressively up to January 1, 2025:

Waste reduction in supermarkets

  • No more free bags. Remember to bring your Valorlux Ecobag or eco-bags.
  • Beverage department: introduction of a deposit for beverages
  • Fruit and vegetable section: no more plastic-wrapped fruit and vegetables for quantities under 1.5 kg. Use fabric Superbags.
  • Dedicated area for collecting packaging at the checkout

Make sure you have large eco-responsible bags for your shopping in Luxembourg. You can buy them directly at supermarket checkouts. If you need them, you can replace them free of charge for life. And don't forget the small reusable cloth bag for your fruit and vegetables.

Limiting waste at home

  • To limit the amount of waste generated by the distribution of leaflets, residents are asked to indicate on their letterboxes their explicit agreement to the deposit of leaflets. Leaflets left on cars are prohibited.
  • Recycling centers have become resource centers for the re-use of various items, particularly electrical and electronic appliances. And don't forget garage sales, where you can sell your unwanted items and earn a bit of money at the same time.
  • When renovating or building, the owner is now responsible for sorting the various types of waste separately.

Protect our environment by taking part in the "Grouss Botz" action in your community.

Don't hesitate to share this article! Let's make sure we preserve our planet for ourselves and future generations.

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