How recycling works in Barcelona

A few years ago while on a guided tour of Barcelona with some Chinese customers who came to the city to attend a conference, I was surprised that at one point during the tour, while walking through the Eixample neighborhood, they began to take pictures of some rubbish bins. I had never encountered this situation before. Even today I still don’t know very well what caught them the attention. Was it the design? Or perhaps the concept itself, that the city has at its disposal recycling bins.

The fact that the containers aroused the curiosity of these Asian visitors made me think about it. As a guide I am used to explaining art, architecture, history, culture, traditions, gastronomy of my country. But I realized that there are many other things, also important, that work differently in each country, and one of them is the issue of recycling.

This fact, plus the desire to contribute my bit to the preservation of the environment, has moved me to write this article and to incorporate information about the recycling system used in Barcelona in my explanations to tourists.

recycling-in-Barcelona-Spain-containers Recycling in Barcelona Spain

Recycling bins in Barcelona and Spain

If on your visit to Barcelona or any town in Catalonia or Spain, you are staying in an apartment, house or apartment, it is very likely that you will generate waste, so knowing how the separation works can be useful.

Walking around Barcelona, ​​as in so many other cities, we often find, next to the sidewalk and near apartment buildings and shops, a set of 5 containers of 5 different colors.

The design and size of these containers varies according to the town where they are, since it is the responsibility of each municipality, but the meaning of each color is the same.

The colors of the containers

⇒The green container is for glass: bottles and jars.
⇒The blue container is for paper and cardboard.
⇒The yellow container is for plastic packaging such as bottles, brics, cans and plastic bags.
⇒The brown container is for organic waste such as food and gardening waste, as well as cork stoppers.

⇒The grey container is for the rest of the waste not included in the other categories.

The optimal time to dispose of garbage, especially organic, to avoid bad odors, is from 8 to 10 p.m.

recycling-in-Barcelona-containers-colors-Spain-Recycling in Barcelona Spain

The 3 R´s : Reduce, Reuse and Recycle

Currently recycling is no longer enough and we have to go one step further. In schools, children learn the Rule of 3 R´s from a very early age: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Three actions, three attitudes that in the same order should move our daily lives. We believe that great explanations are not needed for this rule. Keeping it in mind and carrying it out in day-to-day actions, we demonstrate our love for the planet and for the preservation of the environment.

Other waste collection systems in Barcelona

Likewise, in Barcelona there are 2 more waste collection systems for citizens.

The “Green Points” in Barcelona

Green points are used to get rid of waste can’t be thrown into street containers. Green points can be mobile and fixed. Each neighborhood has its own.

Elements which you can bring: flat glass, appliances, debris, clothing, footwear, ink cartridges, toners, electrical and electronic appliances, cooking oils, electrical cables, small tires, aerosols and sprays, car batteries, cosmetics, x-rays , batteries, motor oils, paints and varnishes, fluorescents and light bulbs, single-dose coffee capsules (plastic and aluminum), etc.

Old furniture and junk collection

The old furniture and junk collection service helps to improve the quality of the streets. Each district of Barcelona has a specific day of the week for collection of bulky household waste. It is important to leave the furniture on the day of the week according to the schedule, in front of the doorstep between 8 and 10 p.m.

Type of collected objects : sofas, doors, furniture, chairs, boxes and wooden slats, blinds or broken toys, among others

Thank you for reclycling during your stay in Spain!

This 2021 at STLB we are taking advantage of the break in our profession caused by the global pandemic.  We are working to get the Biosphere Tourism certification.  If you like to know a little more about this certification, click on our presentation.


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