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Public-images-osm logo.svg amenity = recycling
A container or centre that accepts waste for recycling. Edit or translate this description.
Rendering in openstreetmap-carto
Group: Waste Processing
Used on these elements
may be used on nodesshould not be used on waysmay be used on areasshould not be used on relations
Useful combination
Status: approvedPage for proposal


Recycling is used for a container or centre that accepts waste for recycling, and donations of used goods.

This tag is for sites where waste of specific types is accepted to be reused or recycled - if the site is for disposing of arbitrary waste, consider a different tag as listed under Waste Processing.

Recycling type

To further refine the type of recycling use, we should add the recycling_type=* key.


Most recycling sites only accept specific types of waste, therefore the materials you're able to recycle or donate should be described. Please expand this list. If there is at least one of the following materials tagged, the default value for the rest is no. For example, if a feature is tagged amenity=recycling+recycling:glass_bottles=yes then recycling:aluminium=no is implied.

There is also implied yes value for all more detailed values for subgroups. For example amenity=recycling+recycling:scrap_metal=yes implies recycling:aluminium=yes (as subgroup) and recycling:glass_bottles=no (as not mentioned and not a subgroup).

Tag Description
recycling:aerosol_cans=yes/no Home and DIY (etc.) aerosol cans (e.g. hairspray, spray paint, etc.)
recycling:bags=yes/no All kinds of bags.
recycling:batteries=yes/no Household batteries (e.g. D-cell, 9-volt). Does not imply larger batteries are accepted. There are a handful of uses of recycling:car_batteries.
recycling:belts=yes/no All belts related to clothing.
recycling:beverage_cartons=yes/no Carton package (multi-materials, e.g. Tetra Pak) for drink and food – possible duplicate of more frequently used recycling:cartons; see below
recycling:books=yes/no Donation of books
recycling:cans=yes/no Many places are tagged as accepting cans without accepting metal objects in general[1]
recycling:car_batteries=yes/no Some facilities will take household batteries but not car batteries
recycling:cardboard=yes/no In about 90% cases of recycling:cardboard=yes it duplicates recycling:paper=yes[2]
recycling:cartons=yes/no Paper based cartons (for drink or food). Likely to be data of low value due to mixing paper cartons, multi-material cartons like Tetra Pak by various mappers.
recycling:cds=yes/no Compact discs and DVDs
recycling:christmas_trees=yes/no Place where old christmas trees are collected, use with opening_hours=Jan 01-Jan 15 or so.
recycling:clothes=yes/no Donation of clothes, including shoes (e.g. Humana and others)

Altkleider-Container-HUMANA-Kleidersammlung-grau.jpg Humana-container.jpg Altkleider-Container-HUMANA-Kleidersammlung-weiss.jpg

recycling:coffee_capsules=yes/no Shows if recycling facilities take coffee capsules
recycling:cork=yes/no Vieux bouchons liège.jpg
recycling:drugs=yes/no Expired drugs.
recycling:electrical_items=yes/no Larger electrical items like fridges, freezers, dishwashers, etc. (See also recycling:white_goods below, which tends to mean fridges, freezers, washing machines, dishwashers, ovens in British English; we'd probably choose recycling:electrical_items or recycling:small_appliances for appliances like TVs, vacuum cleaners, microwaves and anything smaller)
recycling:foil=yes/no Kitchen foil/ tin foil
recycling:food=yes/no community fridge to help reduce food waste
recycling:food_waste=yes/no Cooked and uncooked food waste, includes raw and cooked meat, bones, dairy, baked goods and peelings. Don't usually take liquids or oil. Don't take garden waste
recycling:furniture=yes/no Piece of furniture or furnishing (ES: mueble)
recycling:gas_bottles=yes/no Pressurized gas bottles such as those for camping propane and butane. These are often prohibited elsewhere (See Coleman's Green Key program).
recycling:glass=yes/no Implies recycling:glass_bottles=yes, but there's no standard yet for indicating which of the trickier types (drinking glasses, window glass, light bulb glass, tempered glass, borosilicate glass, Pyrex) are accepted. Note that recycling containers labelled glass often are supposed to be used for solely soda–lime–silica glass, what excludes nearly all "tricky" glass and is tagged with rather recycling:glass_bottles.
recycling:glass_bottles=yes/no Includes jars but not any of the trickier types listed above under recycling:glass Note that typical recycling container labelled "glass" is not supposed to be used for many items made of glass. It is often quite hidden in recommendations or regulations that actually just bottles and jars are allowed[3]. For example borosilicate glass (sold under brand names such as Pyrex, Borosil, Duran) or other glasses are excluded, in effect excluding glassware, lighting bulbs, window glass, mirrors, spectacles, reagent bottles and more.
recycling:green_waste=yes/no Compost - leftover food, vegetables, fruit, usually except meat. In practice it is synonym of recycling:garden_waste=yes/no. Differences, if any, will vary across mappers and location.
recycling:garden_waste=yes/no In practice it is synonym of recycling:green_waste=yes/no. Differences, if any, will vary across mappers and location.
recycling:hazardous_waste=yes/no Common house hold hazardous waste (paints, chemicals, asbestos).
recycling:hardcore=yes/no Possible duplicate of more frequently used recycling:rubble; see below.
recycling:magazines=yes/no Over 90% of uses repeats recycling:paper=yes, but some places are tagged as allowing newspapers without allowing paper[4]
recycling:metal=yes/no All sorts of metal – possible duplicate of more frequently used recycling:scrap_metal; see below.
recycling:newspaper=yes/no Over 90% of uses repeats recycling:paper=yes, but some places are tagged as allowing newspapers without allowing paper[5]
recycling:organic=yes/no Organic remains of food that are recycled into biogas or compost. Assuming that this tag definition was intended this tag is likely to change meaning, as nothing in its value excludes organic non-food trash.
recycling:pallets=yes/no Wooden shipping pallets
recycling:paper_packaging=yes/no Over 90% of uses repeats recycling:paper=yes, but some places are tagged as allowing paper packagings without allowing paper[6]
recycling:pens=yes/no Writing instruments, usually plastic pens
recycling:PET=yes/no All kind of material made of polyethylene terephtalate (abbr. PET or PETE, [W] recycling code 1). Please use recycling:PET_drink_bottles=yes/no if only PET drink bottles are allowed.
recycling:pet_drink_bottles=yes/no PET beverage bottles only
recycling:plasterboard=yes/no This usually includes all loose plaster, based on Gypsum
recycling:plastic=yes/no In the UK at least, often centres/containers will distinguish between (broadly) hard plastics (typically ones that shatter), soft plastics (typically bendy food packaging; black food plastic may be an exception), carrier bags, and all other stretchy plastics. Many will accept only a subset of these, so try to pick more specific categories if you can.
recycling:plastic_bottles=yes/no Often they allow bottles but not other plastic items! There is significant number (over 6k as of September 2019) places tagged as accepting plastic bottles, without accepting broader plastics[7]
recycling:plastic_packaging=yes/no Other packaging made out of plastic. There is significant number (over 4k as of September 2019) places tagged as accepting plastic packaging, without accepting broader plastics[8]
or recycling:plastic_bottle_caps=yes/no
or recycling:plastic_caps=yes/no
Bottle tops made out of plastic.
recycling:PMD=yes/no Plastic packaging, Metal packaging, Drink cartons

Combined household packaging, glass and paper excluded. Common way of collecting in The Netherlands and Belgium.

recycling:polystyrene_foam=yes/no Polystyrene foam. Can be styrofoam, generic extruded polystyrene foam, or generic expanded polystyrene foam.
recycling:printer_cartridges=yes/no See below for more specific restrictions, not all centres do both ink and toner (e.g. Ross on Wye)
recycling:rubble=yes/no Bricks and building rubble; see also recycling:hardcore above.
recycling:small_electrical_appliances=yes/no Small electrical items such as computer mice, keyboards, electric razors, pocket radios, hair dryers, irons, electric kettles, small quantities of electric cables, etc.
recycling:small_metal=yes/no Small metal parts such as screws, chains, nails, cutlery
recycling:styrofoam=yes/no Typically refers to expanded styrofoam, such as styrofoam box or packing material
recycling:waste=yes/no General waste container (black bags) (don't use this if the waste is not recycled, use a tag like amenity=waste_disposal or amenity=waste_basket instead)
recycling:white_goods=yes/no In British English this only means fridges, freezers, washing machines, dishwashers, ovens; see also recycling:electrical_items and recycling:small_appliances above, which might be better suited for appliances like TVs, vacuum cleaners, microwaves and anything smaller)

Useful combinations

  • operator=* - responsible organization
  • opening_hours=* - useful for tagging opening hours centres or usage period of containers


Recycling container Underground container Recycling centre
Jt osm recycling underfloor.jpg
recycling_type=container recycling_type=container

Related tags

  • amenity=waste_basket - A single small container for depositing garbage that is easily accessible for pedestrians.
  • amenity=waste_disposal - A medium size disposal bin, typically for bagged up household or industrial waste. May be in the street, but not primarily for use by passing pedestrians.
  • amenity=waste_transfer_station: A location that accepts, consolidates and transfers waste in bulk, usually from government or commercial collections.
  • landuse=landfill: A site for the disposal of waste materials by burial.
  • shop=second_hand: A shop that sells second-hand products, possible collected through donation containers.

See also


  1. Over 23k objects with recycling:cans=yes without recycling:scrap_metal=yes and without recycling:metal=yes, just about 4k places where recycling:cans=yes duplicates more generic tag
  2. About 1k cases of recycling:cardboard=yes without recycling:paper=yes, about 10k cases with both of them, as of September 2019
  3. examples from Poland municipal companies - https://www.facebook.com/mpokrakow/photos/a.226855814675361/349419322419009/?type=3&theater https://ekosystem.wroc.pl/segregacja-odpadow/gdzie-wrzucic/?odpad=szk%C5%82o
  4. 233 without recycling:paper=yes and over 3000 repeating recycling:paper=yes - as of September 2019
  5. 319 without recycling:paper=yes and 3675 repeating recycling:paper=yes - as of September 2019
  6. 202 without paper or explicit recycling:paper=no and 2789 repeating recycling:paper=yes - as of September 2019
  7. http://overpass-turbo.eu/s/Mrx there is also over 5k of location where recycling:plastic_bottles=yes duplicates recycling:plastic=yes, as of September 2019
  8. http://overpass-turbo.eu/s/MrE there is also over 4k of location where recycling:plastic_packaging=yes duplicates recycling:plastic=yes, as of September 2019