From kerbside collection to underground containers

The municipality is aiming to make The Hague a cleaner city. This is why the city is phasing out the kerbside collection of garbage bags. In a large part of The Hague this collection method is being replaced by underground rubbish containers (ORACs). Residents who place a mini-container or wheelie bin (kliko) at the kerb on collection day will also start using the underground containers.

The underground containers are closed off by a flap and for the most part they can be found under the ground. This wards off pests and nuisance animals, such as seagulls and rats. This is cleaner than placing garbage bags on the street or on your balcony or in the garden. Using them correctly can reduce the risk of street litter.

Advantages of underground containers

Underground rubbish container

Underground rubbish containers help ensure that the streets stay cleaner. The most important advantages are:

  • rubbish is out of the house faster
  • also suitable for small amounts of rubbish
  • less risk of pests and nuisance animals
  • less of a foul odour
  • no street litter due to bags torn open
  • cleaner surroundings

You can use the containers to dispose of your household waste 7 days a week. Please show consideration for your neighbours and use the containers only between 7.00 and 22.00 hrs. There is usually an underground rubbish container within 75 metres of each home.

Aan de bak voor een schonere stad (YouTube channel of the municipality)

In the bin (and not next to it)

Underground containers are meant for household waste. Businesses are not allowed to use the containers. This is how you can keep your neighbourhood clean:

  • Throw away your waste in a tightly sealed bag in the container.
  • Rubbish which does not fit into a garbage bag also will not fit in the container. Large-sized rubbish can form an obstruction.
  • In neighbourhoods where organic waste is not collected door-to-door, you can dispose of this type of waste in a tightly sealed garbage bag in the underground container. You can also bring it to 1 of the city’s garbage and recycling stations.  
  • Special collection bins for paper, glass, textiles and plastic are available in all of The Hague’s neighbourhoods. 
  • Oversized household waste does not belong in or next to the container. You can bring oversized waste to 1 of The Hague’s garbage and recycling stations for free. Or you can make an appointment to have it collected at your house.

Emptying containers

The underground rubbish containers are emptied between 7.00 and 22.00 hrs. It takes 5 to 10 minutes to empty each container. In principle the bin is sufficiently large to accommodate the number of households using it. The number of collection days is also geared to this. The chance is small that the container will become full before the collection day.

Clean containers

The underground rubbish containers are cleaned each year on the inside and on the outside. If you notice that the bin is exceptionally dirty or foul smelling, you can report this to the municipality.

Adopt a bin

The correct use of underground containers will help to combat street litter. You can adopt an underground rubbish container. You will then get a key to open the container. You can then take care of any obstructions. This way you contribute to making your surroundings clean and pleasant.

Report a full or broken container

If you see or notice that a rubbish container is full or broken, you can report this to the municipality. Before you report this, check first if the rubbish containers are really full.

Container gardens

The municipality started a pilot project in December 2018 using container gardens around rubbish containers. The idea is that residents will be discouraged from placing their waste next to the containers. If the pilot is a success, more container gardens could be placed in the city. The municipality will not accept any requests for gardens during the trial period.

Also see

Folder on underground rubbish containers (PDF, 179,7 kB)
Fact sheet on legal procedure (PDF, 240,5 kB)
Folder 'Working towards a cleaner city' (PDF, 1,7 MB)

Published: 20 March 2017Modified: 20 September 2019