Waste & Recycling in Basel Recycling & waste disposal in your region

The rules and regulations of garbage disposal and recycling in Switzerland take some getting used to, but are ultimately for the greater good.

Waste disposal & recycling in Basel

The Swiss are efficient and conscientious about recycling (DE/FR/IT) and have a myriad of rules and regulations regarding the issue. Unsurprisingly, Switzerland tops world rankings for environmental action (FR/DE). Adapting to Switzerland's waste and recycling collection system (DE) requires time and effort but it is good for your conscience and for your wallet. Recycling collection points for most materials are widely available.

All the information you need about waste and recycling is provided by the Federal Office of the Environment (DE/FR/IT).

You can click your canton on the map to find related links.

For tips on saving energy and preserving the environment visit Energy-Environment (DE/FR). Read more about Switzerland's thorough rubbish disposal and recycling systems and their benefits on Swiss Recycling (DE/FR/IT).

Useful resources in English:

  • Ch.ch provides links to cantonal waste disposal and recycling information.
  • The recycling map shows collection points for all types of waste and centre opening times.

Garbage disposal in Basel

In the city of Basel it is required to purchase official bin bags to dispose of your household trash. These bags are NOT for recyclables. In Basel they are known as "Bebbi sagg". They are purchasable at supermarkets in various sizes.

Different bag sizes are available:


1.20 CHF/bag (sold in pack of 10 = CHF 12.00)


2.30 CHF/bag (sold in pack of 10 = CHF 23.00)


3.30 CHF/bag (sold in pack of 10 = CHF 33.00)


Depending on your neighbourhood, full bin bags should be placed either on the street on designated days or in specified neighbourhood collections points according to the zone you live in. Consult Canton Basel (DE) to learn more waste removal specifics and to search (DE) for the regulations on your street.

Bulky items of up to 10 kg will be collected if they display a garbage collection sticker (these are available in supermarkets for 4.50 CHF). For goods that are heavier than 10 kg collection must be arranged in advance by calling 061 385 15 15. The Basel sanitation department can provide further information.

Basel Land: Each municipality is responsible for its own waste collection, so different rules may apply. Local sanitation departments often distribute information and garbage collection dates by post.

General recycling in Basel

Glass, aluminium and plastic PET bottles need to be separated and then deposited at local recycling points. Glass items are further separated by colour. PET bottles can also be left at supermarket collection points.

Paper and cardboard is normally collected on designated days. Check Canton Basel (DE) for more information. Recycling collection containers for oil, old clothing, compost and metals are also available in most neighbourhoods.

Additional information:

  • Electrical appliances can be taken back to the electrical store or dropped off at your local waste pressing centre, see the waste bible produced by your local authority.
  • Garden waste: Compost the organic wastes in your own garden. Most apartment blocks have a composting program. You can buy special rubbish bags for this in the supermarket. If that is not possible, there may be community or neighbourhood composting site.
  • Kitchen garbage: Compost leftover food, fruits and vegetables, coffee grounds and filters. NEVER dispose of these things in the toilet or down the drain.
Author: Nathalie Schmitt

Born in Basel, grown up in Baselland and now living across the border in France with my husband and son. After working 20 years in the aviation business, Relocation has now become my new challenge since more than one year.

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