General information on waste prevention and sorting

The Austrian Abfallwirtschaftsgesetz (Waste Management Act) sets out the main principles of Austrian waste management, which include sustainability, the protection of human beings and the environment, and the conservation of natural resources.

Waste prevention is the top priority of waste management. Prevention slows down the accumulation of our waste or reduces its harmfulness – this preserves our groundwater, saves energy and raw materials, and makes an active contribution to climate protection.

Waste prevention measures include the use of reusable packaging instead of single-use packaging, repair or rental instead of new purchases, and passing on goods which you no longer use.

Unavoidable waste should be sorted and, as far as possible, sent for re-use preparation or recycling.

Most glass, plastics, metals, waste paper and organic waste can be recycled or processed.

Under the Deponieverordnung (Landfill Ordinance), residual waste must undergo thermal or mechanical biological treatment to ensure that only waste which is non-hazardous for health and the environment is sent to landfill. This also prevents chemical reactions in landfill sites which could contaminate the air, soil or water.

Every individual should not only help to avoid waste but should also sort household waste when disposing of it.


There are major regional differences in the collection and recycling of waste (especially plastic packaging and metals). The best way to find out exactly how waste separation is handled at the place of residence is to ask the respective municipality or the waste management associations.

Further links

Legal basis

Translated by the European Commission
Last update: 24 April 2024

Responsible for the content: Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology