Zagreb’s new trash collection system (Zg vrećice): Guide for 2023
As of October 1, 2022, Zagreb has a new model of municipal trash collection. The main focus is on recycling and reducing the amount of discarded mixed municipal waste.
Residents will now dispose of their mixed waste in special bags called Zg vrećice. Other waste can be disposed of in separate containers as before. The new model encourages residents to recycle – the more you recycle, the lower your waste removal costs will be.
In addition, households must place their containers for mixed municipal waste, paper, bio waste, and plastic locked within their property. No one else should have access to private containers but owners.
We have received a large volume of queries about the new waste collection model. Since the new system might be quite confusing, we decided to answer the crucial questions in this article to make the transition process smoother for everyone.
In this post, we cover:
- How the new model works
- Purpose of Zg vrećice
- Disposal of mixed waste
- Monthly waste removal fees
- How to get a typed box
- Additional information
The facts are these…
Zagreb’s new model of trash collection – Zg vrećice
From October 2022, Zagreb practices a new model of collection and billing of mixed municipal waste. Mixed municipal waste can be disposed of only in standardized waste bags called Zg vrećice (Zg bags). These bags must be put in private containers within private properties.
The majority of mixed waste containers will be removed from Zagreb’s streets. This should make the city cleaner, healthier, and more pleasant both for residents and tourists.
The collection model of recycling waste remains the same. This means that paper, plastic, metal, glass, and biowaste can be disposed of in their respective recycling containers.
For more information on recycling waste in Croatia, view our guides:
From now on, residents and businesses with a residence in Zagreb will pay a minimum fixed monthly fee for waste removal. In addition to the fixed fee, they must buy Zg vrećice for mixed municipal waste according to personal needs.
In other words, your monthly cost for waste removal now includes a fixed and a variable rate. The variable rate is related to the number of Zg vrećice you buy. So, the less waste you produce, the less you pay.
The frequency of waste removal will vary depending on the neighborhood and types of residential properties. It will be adapted to the need of users in particular areas.
In addition, the city will build underground tanks in the city center, preserving the visual identity of the historic city core. In the long term, the plan is to build semi-underground tanks instead of the current green islands as well for households outside the city center.
Categories of waste disposal users
Users of the new waste removal service are categorized depending on the way of using property, permanently or occasionally, for the purpose of residence (owners of apartments, houses, and vacation properties) or for the purpose of carrying out activities or other purposes.
There are 2 categories of users:
- Household users
- Non-household users (other sources of municipal waste) including
- Renters (natural persons who provide catering services in the household).
Businesses may share containers with other users of the same residential building if they agree to. More information for business users is available here.
So, Zg vrećice must be used for the disposal of mixed municipal waste.
The main goal of the new waste collection system is to reduce the amount of mixed waste. Use Zg vrećice only for the waste that you cannot throw into any other container. Dispose of the useful, problematic, and hazardous waste into proper separate containers.
Zg vrećice enables a fairer billing model. The previous billing model was calculated according to the number of household members and the apartment size. Residents will now pay a waste fee based on the amount of waste a household generates. So, the less trash you produce, the less you will pay in the end.
Zg vrećice are available in more than 500 stores in Zagreb, including shops, shopping centers, booths, and Zagreb Holding branches.
A list of all stores where you can buy Zg vrećice is available here.
After you put mixed municipal waste in Zg vrećice, it must be disposed of in personal containers for collecting mixed municipal waste. Both containers for mixed and recyclable waste must be locked, and no one else but you should be able to access them.
Containers must be kept on personal property or the property of the building including:
- Courtyard entryways
- Fenced yards
- Typed boxes
- Any other proper place within the cadastral plot.
Containers for mixed waste must be placed within the property’s cadastral plot or in any other appropriate way that prevents access to anyone else but its users. The only exemption is valid for plastic – if there is no place for the container, it is not necessary to build a new tank.
If you cannot place your mixed waste container in an isolated private place or make them unavailable to other people, you must contact the city of Zagreb. The city will allocate a public area for typed boxes.
The city of Zagreb currently has 20 recycling yards called reciklažna dvorišta. Everyone can use them free of charge. It is possible to dispose of 30 types of waste in these recycling yards. When you come to the spot, provide your ID card, taxpayer code, and code of the object from the bill.
A monthly fee is charged per household or business and not per every person in the household or business.
As we already mentioned, the first part of the monthly cost for waste removal is a fixed monthly price that is charged to everyone.
The fixed monthly cost covers the following costs:
- Procurement and maintenance of waste collection equipment
- Waste transportation
- Processing of mixed municipal waste and biowaste
- Costs that occur during the operation of the recycling yard and the mobile recycling yard by receiving free-of-charge household waste in the Zagreb area for which the recycling yard was established
- Transportation and processing of bulky waste collected as part of the public service
- Management of prescribed records connected with the public service.
The amounts of the fixed monthly fees are:
- Residents = 5,97 euros + price of used bags
- Legal persons = 11,95 euros + price of used bags
- Trade businesses = 11,95 euros + price of used bags
The second part of the cost is the one you spend on buying Zg vrećice. This cost will be added to the fixed part. The total amount is your final monthly cost for trash removal.
The prices of Zg vrećice are:
- 10 liters – 26 cents per piece
- 20 liters – 53 cents per piece
- 40 liters – 1,06 euros per piece
The bags can be bought in packs of 10 pieces.
Find out where to buy these bags by clicking here.
Special discounts for Zg vrećice
Discounts for households
Households have the right to (4) 10-liter bags free of charge per month if:
- They use recycling yards at least once a month
- They compost biowaste
- They have a child younger than 3
Households have the right to (4) 20-liter bags free of charge monthly if they have an adult household member who uses diapers.
More information on discounts for households is available here.
Discounts for businesses
Businesses that share the trash removal service with other users and contract the collection of biowaste and recyclable municipal waste with the service provider can get (4) 10-liter bags monthly free of charge. This right is valid during the duration of the contract. The right is realized every 10 months, and the user has the right to 4 packages with (10) 10-liter bags.
Businesses that use the service individually and contract the collection of biowaste and recyclable municipal waste with the service provider can get a 5% discount. The discount is calculated on the fee of emptying the volume of delivered mixed municipal trash.
Additional tips for lower bills
Here are some additional tips that can help you reduce your monthly costs:
- Recycle whenever possible
- User cloth bags for shopping
- Donate old things
- Sell old clothes to second-hand shops
- Buy large packages or products without packaging
Fines for improper waste disposal
Residents who dispose of mixed waste in inappropriate places or do not use Zg vrećice will be fined. Municipal and Čistoća workers will control the waste disposal.
During the adjustment period, they will send only written warnings. After the adjustment period, households may be fined 66,36 euros and other users up to 132,72 euros.
More information about the fines is available here.
If you cannot place the mixed waste container on your private property, you can request a tank on a public surface from the city of Zagreb. After getting the city’s approval, you must place the containers in typed boxes.
You must cover the production and installation costs of typed boxes at your own expense.
The process of applying for a tank in a city public area is described below. If you want more information, visit the official city page here.
#1 Opinion on the need for tank
If you cannot place the container within the cadastral plot of the property, you should submit a written request for an opinion on the need to place the tank on a public surface. It must be submitted to the service provider called Podružnica Čistoća.
The request may be submitted by:
- Service user
- Representative of the co-owner of the building
- Another person authorized by the service users by agreement
Fill out this application form and deliver it to Podružnica Čistoća to:
- firstname.lastname@example.org OR
- Zagrebački holding d.o.o. Podružnica Čistoća, Radnička cesta 82, 10 000 Zagreb
After they receive your request, Čistoća’s worker will view the location of the settlement place. If you both agree on the location of the typed box and they approve the request, you must request the allocation of the public area for the box.
#2 Request for the placement of tank
After the positive opinion you received from Čistoća, you must submit the request for issuance of a decision for the construction of a typed box on a public surface.
Fill out this application form and deliver it to:
- Pisarnica Grada Zagreba, Trg Stjepana Radića 1, 10 000 Zagreb
- Odsjek za komunalne poslove, Gradski ured za obnovu, izgradnju, prostorno uređenje, graditeljstvo, komunalne poslove i promet, Trg Stjepana Radića 1, 10 000 Zagreb (by recommended mail)
More information is available at +385 (0)1 610 0005.
#3 Order for construction of a tank box
After you received the approval for the construction of a typed box, you can request production offers for the number of the box specified in the solution. The price depends on the individual contractor and the situation on the market. Household members bear the construction costs.
A list of contractors for buildings managed by Gradsko stambeno komunalno gospodarstvo d.o.o. is available here.
You can also ask for the offer of any other contractor you wish. However, keep in mind that the box must be built according to the standards. Otherwise, municipal workers may remove the defective tank at your expense. The standards for the construction of tanks are available here.
#4 Keeping containers locked
After receiving the tank, you must keep it under lock and key. This way, you make them available only to their users – tenants of the building, block, or house. On the other hand, keeping them locked eliminates the disposal of inappropriate waste in mixed waste containers.
Containers must be available to municipal workers without using keys or codes on the day of trash removal. However, municipal workers will own unique keys for containers placed in typed boxes in public areas.
A flyer with all the important general information on the new Zagreb waste collection system is available here.
A flyer on recycling yards including their locations and removal of global waste is available here.
A flyer on biowaste and composting is available here.
On this page, you can view interactive maps showing data on:
- Proposed locations of underground tanks for mixed waste
- Locations of green islands and recycling yards
- Locations of existing tanks
- Submitted requests for new tanks
Frequently asked questions on the new waste collection system are available here.
View our other ecology posts
- A local’s guide to buying food at Croatia’s farmer’s market
- Bio & Bio – Organic and natural food
- GMO (genetically modified organisms) in Croatia
- How to recycle glass in Croatia
- How to recycle paper in Croatia
- How to recycle plastic and metal in Croatia
- Is tap water safe to drink in Croatia
- Where does Croatia’s energy come from?
Zg vrećice by Čistoća.hr
Please note: Information provided by Expat in Croatia is only for the purposes of guidance. It does not constitute legal or financial advice in any form. Croatian laws and bureaucratic rules often change, and each personal case is individual, so different rules may apply. For legal advice, contact us to consult with a licensed Croatian lawyer. For financial advice, contact us to consult with a licensed Croatian tax advisor or accountant.