When it comes to the environment, you would be hard-pressed to find a more conscientious country than Switzerland. The Ökihöfe® of the Zug municipalities are central to waste management in the canton. All eleven municipalities have generous collection points that accept about 30 different types of waste. What is accepted at what collection points can be found in the waste disposal leaflets of your municipality. 

It is important to follow the rules. For example, all waste that is disposed of in bins at your home, needs to go either in special waste bags or bags with the appropriate stickers on them, both of which are specific to each canton. These bags and stickers can be purchased in supermarkets but must be requested upon checkout from the cashier.

What you should know first!

The blue waste bags are the only ones you may use to dispose of your garbage in the assigned bins at your place of residence. In some cases, especially for houses, garbage bags will be collected from the sidewalk on the designated day of collection. Compost bags are to be disposed of in a separate green bin. All bags can be purchased at supermarkets.

Recycling is an integral part of waste disposal in Switzerland. In the beginning it can seem complicated, but once you understand how the overall system works and create your own system, it becomes routine. Please note that unlike garbage, recycling will not be picked up at your residence. Instead, you must take your recycling to centers or stores that have designated bins for specific items.

There are several recycling centers called Ökihof around the canton of Zug, where your items must be separated into paper, cardboard, plastic, aluminum, glass and PET bottles. You will find locations and opening times here. Another possibility to recycle is through the Ökimobil, which stops by different neighborhoods once a week to collect all of the above items. The only exception is paper, which is collected separately as long as it is bundled together and tied with string. The Ökimobil timetable can be found here. The waste disposal leaflet for your municipality can be obtained at your local "Gemeinde", it shows all of the various timetables for garbage collection and the various recycling options.
The Ökihof Zug has a second-hand store called the Brockenhaus, which is open Wednesday to Saturday. The Brockenhaus will also take items which you no longer require throughout the week during regular Ökihof opening hours, provided that these items are in good condition and working order and can be re-sold.



The following materials should not be thrown into the refuse bag:
Vegetable waste:
The composting of food leftovers and garden waste produces excellent humus soil. Vegetable waste may not be brought to the waste collection center but can be put out for the vegetable waste collection ("Green Collection"), usually in large green bins. Biodegradable eco-bags can be bought at all grocery stores and come in a variety of sizes.


Used glass:
Reusable glass bottles and recipients can be returned to the shop. Unwanted glass - both broken and unbroken - should be thrown into the bottle bank, in the appropriate bin according to colour. Used glass can be collected and used for the manufacture of new bottles.
Used metal:
Bring used metal to your local waste collection centre. Tinplate and aluminium tins are collected separately. After collection, used metal is melted down and recycled.
Return old tyres to the garage or the place where you bought your old or new tyres. They can be specially processed or used as fuel for the manufacture of cement.
Give clean clothing which is in good condition to the charities that organise collections. You will receive special plastic bags for this purpose.
Waste oil:
Oils - whether mineral (e.g. motor oil) or vegetable (e.g. cooking/salad oil) - are special waste material. Always bring waste oil separately to your mechanical specialist or to the waste collection centre. Never pour it into the wastewater system (e.g. washbasins, sinks or drainage).  
Electrical appliances:
Defective televisions, computers, radios, refrigerators etc. should if possible be returned to the original supplier or taken to a shop selling new appliances. Retailers are obliged to take these appliances back free of charge. Alternatively, they may be brought to the waste collection centre.  
Fluorescent lamps:
Return fluorescent lamps and energy-saving lamps to the place where you bought them, or bring them to the waste collection centre. Their contents will be suitably destroyed. Metal and glass parts will be recycled.
Collect paint, lacquer, medicines, poisonous substances and chemicals separately and bring them to your drugstore or pharmacist.
Batteries and car batteries:
Return these to the sales point or garage where they were purchased, or else bring them to the waste collection centre. They will be recycled.

How to reduce waste in three easy stages

Before buying any article, always ask yourself: do I really need this? Make sure you do not buy superfluous products. Choose long-lasting and ecologically acceptable products. Give back superfluous packaging.
Buy products that can be repaired. If possible, buy products in recyclable bottles and containers. Avoid leftovers. Always buy only as much as you really need.  
Choose recoverable materials such as paper, glass and metal. Whether at home or at work, you can use the same packaging or container several times. If you buy recycled products, the raw materials cycle is completed. Kitchen and garden waste can be composted on the balcony or in the garden, or can be put out for the vegetable waste collection ("Green Collection").

Any other questions?
If you have any other questions, please contact your local environmental office. The staff at your local waste collection centre will always be pleased to help you too.

This is the abbreviation for the Association of Local Authorities of the Canton of Zug for Waste Disposal Administration. Tel. +41 41 783 03 40.