Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

  • Who pays for the separate collection activities in municipalities?

    Municipalities do not pay recovery organizations for the separate collection activities on their territories. Building and servicing the systems for separate collection of packaging waste, including manufacturing, placing and maintaining of separate collection bins, their servicing, e.i. emptying, and the following sorting and recycling of the collected waste, are all the recovery organizations’ obligations. All these activities in our municipalities are carried out and paid by us, Eco Partners. Eco Partners does not distribute profits and the proceeds from activity are invested in the maintaining and modernizing of systems for separate collection and recovery of packaging waste as well as in information campaigns and activities for raising environmental awareness of the population.

  • Why should I sort my waste when it is all going to end up at the same place when the containers are emptied?

    To claim waste ends up at the same place runs absolutely counter to reality. This is one of the most widespread myths about separate waste collection. Nowadays, we would probably call this ‘fake news’. Not once has this claim found support in any facts grounded in reality. Here is why it cannot be true:

    1. The companies engaged in household waste collection (mixed waste disposed of in the well-known grey containers) are different from the companies collecting waste from coloured containers.
    2. Thus, the trucks used to empty grey containers are also different from those used to empty coloured ones. Coloured containers are serviced by trucks equipped with cranes while trucks servicing mixed waste containers use an altogether different type of technology.
    1. It is also not possible to mix waste collected from yellow containers with that collected from green ones. Here are the reasons why:
      • Yellow containers and green containers are not emptied on the same day.
      • Once collected, waste coming from each type of container undergoes further separation. Mixing waste would make this whole process much more complex and nobody is interested in that. Generally, waste collection companies also handle the further treatment of waste (i.e. its separation).
    1. It is in the best financial interest of companies engaged in separate waste collection to keep waste separate and process it with precision since they go on to sell the secondary raw material to processing plants, which in turn have strict waste quality requirements.
  • What is the point of having separate waste collection if the same container is used for disposing of paper, plastic and metal waste?

    Although the waste that ends up in coloured containers is collected separately, it must undergo further separation. This process enables waste fit for recycling to be sorted on the basis of their type and material. See Description of the system.

    The two-container model allows for ease of use by the general public and it does not burden urban infrastructure, which unfortunately is not suitable for installing a great number of containers. What is more, educating people to sort their waste is very time-consuming so we believe that having more containers would not be an efficient option at present.

  • Why are the openings of the containers used so small? I find this uncomfortable and I am forced to dispose of my waste one item at a time?

    There are several reasons behind the design of the openings of coloured containers:

    1. Disposing of waste one item at a time facilitates the further separation of this waste and sorting it into types of material. Since it is recommended to first wash a piece of packaging and only then dispose of it, disposing of items one at a time should not be a problem.
    2. Small openings discourage the disposal of household (mixed) waste in coloured containers. If household waste ends up in a coloured container, this could damage (soak with water or oil, etc.) the waste already sorted and disposed of, which would in turn make this waste altogether unfit for recycling.
    3. Small openings also prevent rain and snow from falling on waste and protect it from being scattered in the wind.

    It is undoubtedly true that this manner of ‘rubbish’ disposal is quite different from the standard one, to which we are used. Yet, while this may lead to a certain degree of inconvenience, demonstrating a responsible attitude to nature requires us to try and foster useful habits. Perhaps, if we did, we would find that the process was not too complicated after all.

  • How should I dispose of bigger cardboard boxes?

    This is where the next ‘difficulty’ of having containers with small openings comes in. And there is a nice and simple explanation for that:

    • Actually, cardboard boxes are meant to be folded before being placed in the container. In this way, they will not take up a lot of space and will be easier to recycle.

    Folding them does not seem like too great an effort, when we want to demonstrate a responsible attitude to nature and the way public spaces around us look. In case you are not able to dispose of your cardboard box using the container, you can lean it on the container’s side after making sure to fold it first. Otherwise, you may end up with this sort of sight:

  • Why is there no container fit for separate waste collection near the place where I live?

    The number of containers fit for the purposes of separate waste collection is laid down in law. See Description of the system. It is not profitable and indeed impossible to have a coloured container next to each container meant for household waste. The same applies to other European countries, where waste sorting habits are quite more ingrained than they are in Bulgaria. We would advise you to find the container placed closest to you and begin using it. You can check the list with container addresses from Our municipalities section.

  • What should I do to ensure that a container is placed near where I live?

    The locations, where containers fit for the purposes of separate waste collection are placed, are designated by the mayor of your municipality.

  • What first steps should I take if I have just made the decision to begin sorting my waste at home?

    Congratulations on making a wonderful decision!

    Here is what we can suggest:

    1. We recommend that you become familiar with the types of material, of which packaging is most often made. See them in Obligations of companies.
    2. Please, observe that almost any type of goods is wrapped in packaging of sorts, with certain goods having several items of packaging. These items of packaging may be made of different types of material.
    • Example 1: A box of biscuits is generally made of paper (cardboard) but the biscuits inside it are often placed in a plastic tray and also enveloped in plastic wrapping.
    • Example 2: A jar or a bottle containing food or liquid may be made of glass but its lid or cap is generally made of metal.
    1. On each item of packaging (or only on external packaging), there is an indication of (a) the material of which it is made and (b) whether this item of packaging could be sorted. Please, observe that an item of packaging may bear further marking. For instance, it may be marked with a hazardous waste symbol, which means that this item is not subject to disposal in coloured containers and needs to be sorted as hazardous waste and disposed of as such.

    According to the Bulgarian Regulation on Packaging and Packaging Waste, two types of marking are put on any type of packaging: The first type of marking shall contain information on the type of material, of which an item of packaging is made (Annex 3) and the second type indicates if an item of packaging should be sorted and disposed of using a coloured container.

    See more about hazardous waste here.

    1. Kindly become familiar with the separate packaging waste collection system in your place of residence. It may be a two-colour system (with yellow and green containers), or a three-colour one (with yellow, green and blue containers). The way, in which you will have to sort your waste at home, depends on the type of separate waste collection system in place.
    2. Do your homework: have a look at the area, in which you live in advance, and find out where the most suitable containers fit for separate waste collection are located.
    3. Designate bins/bags to use for sorting packaging waste at home: either two or three depending on the separate waste collection system in place.
      • If the system at your place of residence uses two containers, it would be a good idea to designate bins/bags to use for sorting packaging waste. Packaging waste made of plastic, paper and metal is disposed of in yellow containers and packaging waste made of glass is disposed of in green containers. Thus, it is best to sort your waste in the same way at home, i.e. using two bins/bags.
        You can read more about the two-colour model of sorting waste here.
      • If the system uses containers in three colours, you should designate three bins/bags. It is best to have your system at home function as a miniature model of the waste collection system in your municipality. Under this model, packaging waste made of plastic and metal is disposed of in yellow containers, packaging waste made of glass – in green containers and packaging waste made of paper – in blue containers. It would be best to sort items of packaging into three bins/bags.
      • Label the bins/bags using the relevant colours and/or the types of material to be sorted into each bin/bag.
    4. It would be easiest to set up your waste sorting corner as close as possible to where unwrap goods, say, in the kitchen.
    5. Before you sort an item of packaging into a bin/bag, make sure that it has not been soiled. If it has been, or if there is food residue or something else on it, make sure to clean it.
    6. After you have cleaned the item of packaging, fold it so that it takes up as little space as possible in the bin and, subsequently, the container.
    7. When you go out to dispose of the packaging you have sorted using the big coloured containers, have in mind that the process will take a little more time than disposing of household (mixed) waste since you will sometimes have to dispose of items one at a time. In any case, the process is not too time-consuming.

    You would be surprised at the proportion of waste made up of packaging, which can actually be recycled and thus it will not pollute the environment! Good luck!

    We congratulate you on your choice and thank you for your responsible attitude and your effort!