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Recycling in Barcelona

Written by Paula

Spain is one of the countries with the highest recycling rate in Europe. Growingly aware of the consequences of their actions, over 70% of the Spanish population recycles their trash.

This is only possible because Barcelona offers adequate means for people to do so, with various points around the city to dispose of trash, with different trash containers. Keep reading this article by ShBarcelona to know more about recycling in Barcelona.

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How to recycle in Barcelona

Yellow containers

The yellow containers should be used for plastic, cans, milk and juice cartons, aluminum foil, metal lids and different types of wrappers used in a variety of products.

The yellow containers, although in a smaller version than the ones on the street, can even be found on the beach (besides the grey ones).

grey and yellow container on beach

Photo via Pixabay

Green containers

The green containers should be used only for glass. Don’t use this container to throw out broken drinking glasses, mirrors, ceramics, dishes, and lamps. Those materials should be taken to one of the city’s punto verdes.

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Blue containers

The blue containers should be used for paper, cardboard, newspapers, magazines, notebooks, envelopes, paper bags, wrapping paper, etc.

You should not use these containers to deposit napkins or paper towels that are stained with oil (brown container), milk cartons (yellow container) or pizza boxes (gray container).

garbage containers in barcelona

Photo via Pixabay

Brown containers

The brown containers are used only for organic substances of animal or plant origin, which decompose biologically. This type of garbage represents one-third of the trash we produce at home. If recycled, it can be used in agriculture, gardening and even in energy production.

You can use this container for rests of meat, fish, bread, fruit, vegetables, nuts, eggshells, tea bags, napkins, etc. Don’t use this container to deposit animal feces, diapers, hair, fur or what you gather when vacuuming/sweeping. That sort of trash should be deposited in grey containers.

Grey containers

The gray containers should be used for regular trash, anything that can’t be recycled.

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Other services

Roba Amiga

If you are looking to get rid of some items of clothing, you can contact Roba Amiga, a social project that reuses clothes that are in good condition. Roba Amiga accepts any type of clothing, shoes, purses and other accessories.

secondhand clothes

Photo via Pixabay

They do not accept stained, wet or dirty clothes, rags and random pieces of cloth. To learn more visit the project’s official website of Roba Amiga,

Deceased animals

The city offers a free deceased animal pick up service, guaranteeing those who contact them that the remains of the animals will be treated with dignity and respect.

The service can be requested by calling 900 226 26 (free call) and is available every morning, from Monday to Saturday.

Related article: Adopt a Pet in Barcelona And Save a Life 


Barcelona offers free furniture pick up service that happens once a week. Each street has a specific day in which the trucks come for the furniture, which should be left on the street in front of your house between 8 pm and 10 pm.

garbage truck recycling barcelona

Photo via Pixabay

The service does not pick up bathroom items such as toilets. To know which day the truck will be on your street, click here. The city also offers to pick up services for bags containing debris, fiber cement with asbestos and large plant remains.

To learn more about this service, visit Barcelona pel Medi Ambient.

Do you have other ways of recycling stuff in Barcelona?
Share your tips with other residents or visitors!

About the author


Paula is an experienced content writer, translator and editor.


  • Thanks for this! Was literally just outside some recycling bins and wasn’t sure where to throw what!

  • Hi, thanks for this info
    I think the data might need updating – it might be true that 70% residents attempt to recycle in the relevant bins etc but what is actually recycled is much lower and the amount that goes to landfill is way off EU targets.
    Although there are options is is not made easy in some areas and there seems to be an attitude of what’s the point in making the effort when it’s made more complicated that necessary (in some areas)
    Some areas have guidelines on the bins as to what goes in each but some do not, some make the bins easy to open and dispose of larger bags and some do not – it doesn’t make sense why recycling isn’t encouraged more with some simple changes to the processes.

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