Waste management system in CPH

The backbone of the waste management system in Copenhagen is source separation. Nearly all citizens in Copenhagen have access to specific bins for biowaste, metals, plastics, paper, cardboard, and small electronics at their residence. The recycling bins are placed directly at the households or in the inner courtyards of apartment buildings.


Additionally, there are five district recycling stations where citizens can bring their waste resources and sort them in 32 recyclable waste types, and six smaller, more local recycling stations, which are less industrial. All recycling stations and collection points are equipped with swap points, where citizens can donate and collect items which are still usable to take back home.

As part of the current Waste and Resource Management Plan, there is an ongoing process to develop and implement 750 public space “resource points”, where citizens will be able to source separate their waste on the go. These public recycling bins will be in addition to the recycling bins located at the residences throughout Copenhagen. Additionally, there are 550 glass containers for disposal situated on the public sidewalks and spaces.

Producer Responsibility
In contrast to many other countries, Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) schemes in Denmark and in Copenhagen only cover WEEE, batteries, and end-of-life vehicles. However, for WEEE and batteries collection, local authorities still have a major role to play.

The local authorities collect these types of waste and hand it over to the EPR systems. The EPR systems finance the collection. For more information, click here for EPR in Denmark.

Packaging and packaging waste
Most EU countries have an EPR system for packaging. This is still not the case in Denmark and in Copenhagen, where the municipalities have the responsibility for managing packaging waste.

Denmark has a deposit-return scheme for beverage containers of glass, metal, and PET, ensuring a very high return rate of ~90 % for these types of packaging.

Waste data
See how much waste was collected as recyclables in Copenhagen in the previous years here.