Denmark, along with the rest of Europe, works hard to ensure that as much waste material as possible is recycled or otherwise reused rather than going to landfills.


As part of that ongoing initiative, an extensive recycling program is in place throughout the country. Large recycling plants for big trash such as furniture, housing materials, and computers are dotted in almost every municipality, and every home, whether house or apartment building, has trash cans for different types of waste.

Whether you live in a detached home, a townhouse, or an apartment complex, at least one of your trash bins will consist of recycling. Whether you have a general trash bin to take everything that is not combustible or separate ones for bottles, paper, and other burnable items, such as kitchen waste and cardboard, some sorting will be expected of you. Randers Municipality sends out a yearly magazine, EXIT (in Danish), that reviews the year in trash, informs people about new rules and requirements for sorting, etc. While it may be easy to ignore the sorting rules, it is just as easy to follow them.

Any item with a deposit (pant) on it can be returned at any shop with a reverse vending machine (flaskeautomat). You will get the deposit (generally between DKK 1 to 3) for each item that you return. If you drink a lot of soda, beer, or cider, it's definitely worth it to return the bottles. Other bottles, such as juice bottles (but not juice cartons or milk cartons), jars, cans, and other plastic food containers (except butter containers), can all be recycled in the appropriate recycle bin.

Paper, such as newspaper, letters (without personal information such as CPR number, etc), envelopes, and the like, can be recycled in the appropriate bin. Any items with personal information on them should be shredded for security reasons. Cardboard boxes should be broken down and put into a bin as well. Some residential complexes have bins specifically for cardboard and other burnable trash, and the container will generally be marked as such.

If you own your home and you like to garden, kitchen waste (food, peels, eggshells, etc.) makes an excellent compost with just a little work. This can also be good if you have a summer garden cottage in Denmark. However, if you live in an apartment complex, this kind of waste goes into the burnable trash bin.

If you have any questions about what should or should not be recycled or how recycling works in general, check out Randers Municipality's trash website (in Danish).