Waste sorting for businesses

As a business owner, you are responsible for ensuring that all waste is sorted and disposed of in compliance with existing legislation and regulations. Learn about the rules for waste and get help with sorting and handling it.

Get help sorting and managing your waste

Read about the rules for handling different types of commercial waste and get tips on waste management for businesses. 

If your business shares an outdoor area with private homes, there are certain rules that you need to abide by.

The indicative sorting icons are required on the waste containers. Place them on the front and top of the containers, so you can see what needs to be sorted in each.

Sorting guide

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Waste to landfill

Can contain

Porcelain, ceramics, mirrors, asbestos, soft PVC, sweepings from the streets.

Must not contain

Residual waste and recyclable waste.


Can contain

Anything powered or wired.

Must not contain

Light sources, batteries and accumulators, smoke detectors, gas discharge lamps, equipment containing sealed radioactive sources and contaminated medical equipment.


Keep electronic waste clean and dry.


Where electronic waste should go depends, among other things, on when the equipment was marketed, and the nature and quantity of the equipment. As a starting point, it is the manufacturer or importer of the equipment, who is responsible for the collection and subsequent treatment. You can contact the manufacturer or importer to find out exactly how to dispose of the item.

Hazardous waste

You must always be aware of how you handle the hazardous waste from your company. All types of hazardous waste must always be handled correctly, regardless of the quantity.

If you are in any doubt as to whether your waste is hazardous waste, you can write to erhvervsaffald@kk.dk. The Danish Environmental Protection Agency informs about classification and handling of hazardous waste here (in Danish). 

Packaging that has contained hazardous waste can also be hazardous waste. Ask your collector or at the recycling station if you are in doubt.

You can get rid of the company's hazardous waste either by making an agreement with a private waste collector or by handing it in at the recycling station. Here you can deliver a maximum of 200 kg per year, and you must buy a separate ticket. You can learn more about the prices for business access here (in Danish). Remember to get a receipt for delivery, so that you can document correct treatment.

Please note that single- use kegs are not hazardous waste, but can be dangerous goods as the container is under pressure.

Frying oil

Can contain

Frying and cooking oil from food preparation.

Must not contain

Leftover food.


Store the frying oil in closed containers, e.g. barrels.


All restaurants must have a grease separator in the sink, but grease separators do not handle your frying oil. You must not pour oil into the drain. It must be disposed of in the appropriate waste container. Contact a collector to get an arrangement.

Apply for "Connection of the sewage to sewer" at Byg og Miljø.


Can contain

Bottles, glass packaging, preserving jars and drinking glasses.

Must not contain

Porcelain, ceramics, crystal glass, toughened and laminated glass, car windows, wire glass, mirrors, flat glass, double glazed windows, light bulbs.


Empty the glass of contents as best you can. As a rule, you do not need to rinse them.

Garden waste

Can contain

Grass, branches, flowers, leaves and the like.

Must not contain

Paper, cardboard, plastic or other non-compostable materials, soil and stone, etc. You can hand in tree roots and stumps separately at the recycling station for a fee.

Burning garden waste

You must not burn garden waste.


You can compost small amounts of garden waste and vegetable food waste from your own production. Composting must take place in a container that is secured against rats and other vermin. Place the container outdoor and at least 5 m from a window. Compost soil may only be used on own plot.

If your composting site is larger than 15 m2, you must report it to us. If your property is smaller, you only must report it, if you receive waste from other producers.

Report composting before you begin

No later than 14 days before you start composting, you must report it to us. You must send the report by e-mail, and we must use the following information:

The name of the person responsible for day-to-day operations

Container type and number

Do you have an organic system for other food waste? If yes, you must state the volume and emptying frequency, as well as who collects the waste.

What material you compost

Company name, address and signature

Send notification of composting by e-mail to parc@kk.dk.

When should samples be taken of the compost?

If the compost is used outside your plot, for example if you sell or give it to others, then you must take samples of the compost. The sample must be analysed at an accredited laboratory. The results of the analysis must be approved by us before you can sell the compost or pass it on to others.

If you only use the compost on the company's own plot, samples of the compost are not necessary.

Food waste

Depending on your company's waste production, the scheme may consist of one or more waste types: food waste without food packaging and/or food waste in food packaging.

Food waste without packaging

Can contain

Coffee grounds with or without paper filters, discarded food, peels, trimmings and the like from production, prepared and raw food, trimmed flowers.

Must not contain

Packaging. See more under "Food waste with packaging".


To avoid odor nuisance or unhygienic conditions, you must ensure that the waste is collected at least once a week. Always ask the waste collector whether the food waste must be delivered in the container without a bag or can be delivered in a specific type of bag. Also make sure to clean the waste bins properly after each emptying. Several waste collectors offer cleaning of the container or exchange for a clean container with each emptying as part of the service.

Food waste with packaging

Can contain

Discarded food including its original packaging. Possibly also unpackaged food waste. There may be a difference in the possible waste schemes, on which packaging types are collected, for example glass and metal packaging are not always covered. Contact an approved waste collector and find out what their arrangements include.

Must not contain

Empty food packaging.


To avoid odor nuisance or unhygienic conditions, you must ensure that the waste is collected at least once a week. Also make sure to clean the waste bins properly after each emptying. Several waste collectors offer cleaning of the container or exchange for a clean container as part of the service with each emptying.

Food and drink cartons

Can contain

Milk cartons, cartons for drinks, cartons for food, e.g. peeled tomatoes.

Must not contain

Cardboard mugs and other plastic-coated cardboard, packaging bags for e.g. coffee and chips, pizza trays.

Storage and collection

Store food and drink cartons in a dry and clean place. In the municipal waste scheme, food and drink cartons are collected together with plastic. If your company uses a private collector, then find out whether food and drink cartons are supposed to be collected separately or together with the plastic waste.


Can contain

Various metal types and items, foil trays, tins, metal tools.

Must not contain

Electronics, gas and pressure cylinders, metal items with oil/tar/environmentally hazardous substances, and insulation materials.


As clean as possible.


Can contain

Both thick and thin cardboard material, cardboard boxes, corrugated cardboard, shoe boxes, cardboard packaging from food and products, cardboard tubes from paper towels and toilet rolls.

Must not contain

Pizza trays, cardboard mugs, food and drink cartons, newspapers, magazines, plastic packaging, flamingo.


If the cardboard is placed, so that it becomes dirty or wet, it cannot be recycled. Fold the cardboard and make it flat, so you make the most of the containers and save space.


Can contain

A mixture of different paper types such as newspapers, magazines, stationery, office paper, shredded paper, and the like. You are welcome to leave staples, clips and small pieces of tape on the paper.

Must not contain

Plastic file folders, plastic waste bags, toilet paper, cardboard, carton, books, dirty paper, or binders.


Make sure to store the paper so that it does not get dirty or wet, otherwise it cannot be reused.

Confidential paper

Confidential paper must also be sorted for recycling. You can get a transporter or a waste collector to shred the paper either at your place or at a facility.


Can contain

Plastic regardless of colour, all hard and soft plastic materials, e.g. food packaging, foils, bags, cans, trays.

Must not contain

PVC, biodegradable plastic and biobags, plastic cans with hazard labels, medicine packaging, highly flammable liquids and the like, flamingo, abs plastic from cars, acrylic plastic, big bags.


Keep the plastic dry and clean. Seal the air out of large jugs as best you can. Empty the packaging of contents as best you can. You do not need to rinse it.

Special arrangements for plastics

If your company has large quantities of uniform plastic, it may be worthwhile to establish a separate scheme for this type of plastic. Talk to your collector about whether it will be an advantage for the environment and the company's finances.

Residual waste

Can contain

Flamingo, pizza trays, mixed materials, cigarette butts, floor sweepings, chip and coffee bags, diapers and sanitary napkins.

Must not contain

Recyclable waste, hazardous waste, electronics, spray cans and paint.


In a closed waste container.


Can contain

All kinds of textile waste – also those with holes, rips, and stains such as clothes, bed linen, tea towels, hats, and tablecloths.

Must not contain

Textiles that are not damaged and can be reused by others should be given to charity. Carpets with rubber coating, shoes, boots, bags, and belts.


Make sure to store the textiles so that they do not get dirty or wet.


Can contain

Both treated/painted and untreated wood.

Must not contain

Pressure treated wood and pallets.


Store wood in a clean and dry place.

Please note that some private waste collectors require other sorting solutions that you must abide by. Talk with your waste collector about the possibilities of getting customised solutions for your waste management.

Once the waste has been sorted, it is your responsibility to ensure that it is recycled correctly. There are various options to choose from, which you can read about below.

Commercial waste management services

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Private collector and transporter

Companies producing waste are responsible for their own waste management. Your company can contact a private waste collector or transporter and make an agreement with them.

If your company shares outdoor areas with private residences, it may use the municipal schemes for a fee, which you can learn more about here. 

Waste collector

A collector must be approved and registered in the National Waste Register (Affaldsregistret) at the Danish Energy Agency. They ensure that the waste is collected, reported, and delivered to an approved recycling facility. The waste collector can also help you find out which containers your company should have, how many containers you should have and how often they should be emptied.

There are many different waste collectors in Copenhagen. You can contact a few for more info on the solutions they can provide for your business. It is a good idea to clarify whether they can supply waste data, so that you can monitor your company’s progress with recycling and waste management. If it is requested by the City of Copenhagen, you can also use your company’s waste data as documentation.

If you do not wish to have a private collector for the company's waste, you can also choose to deliver the recyclable and hazardous waste at the local recycling stations for a fee.

You can find approved collectors on the Danish Energy Agency's website (in Danish).


A transporter is registered with the Danish Energy Agency and takes care of collecting and transporting your business’ waste. You are responsible for ensuring that the waste is delivered to an approved waste facility and recycled correctly, as well as that the amount is reported to the national waste data system.

You can find registered transporters in the Danish Energy Agency's waste register (Affaldsregistret).

The property's waste management services

Businesses that share outdoor areas with private residences can choose to use the property's waste management services for residual waste and recyclable waste for a fee.

Note: The company must not have larger quantities of recyclable waste than an ordinary household.

If, for example, the company has too much cardboard to use the municipal waste management services, it does not exclude the company from using the municipal containers for e.g., metal or paper.

Read more about the waste management services for businesses available in the City of Copenhagen here.

Recycling stations

Companies are welcome to use the recycling stations for recyclable and hazardous waste for a fee. But the recycling stations do not accept residual waste, food waste and frying oil. Residual waste and food waste must be collected either via the municipal scheme or via a private collector. Frying oil must always be collected via a private collector. The recycling station offers your business the opportunity to document the delivered waste through a commercial waste receipt. This needs to be filled out with waste types and amounts, and then signed by an employee at the recycling station.

Payment to the recycling station

If you have a car with a commercial number plate, payment to the recycling station will be made automatically, as the car's number plate will be registered.

If you do not have a commercial number plate, or if you come by bicycle, then payment is made either via SMS or by printing a one-time ticket, which can be purchased via ARC's website.

Read more about specific rules and prices for business waste on ARC's website.

If you use one of the recycling stations in the surrounding municipalities, you can read more on Vestforbrænding's website.

Read the guidance for business customers on Vestforbrænding's website.

Clinical waste

You must always sort your clinical waste, regardless of quantity.

Clinical waste includes

• pointed and sharp objects, e.g., scalpels, needles, and the like

• chemical waste from smaller producers

• tissue waste

• experimental animals

• infectious waste

If you are in doubt as to whether your waste is clinical waste, you can write to erhvervsaffald@kk.dk.

If your company produces clinical waste, you must make an agreement with an approved waste collector.

The commercial waste management service for clinical waste has been terminated as of 1 January 2019. The City of Copenhagen assigns handling of all clinical waste o Amager Resource Center.


Waste and ressources - Business

Njalsgade 13

2300 København S

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