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How to Separate Waste for Recycling in Milan

How to Separate Waste for Recycling in Milan

Waste Recycling Management in Milan

The first recycling laws in Italy were established in 1997, but it really wasn’t until the early 2000’s that cities in Italy implemented recycling plans.

Recycling in Milan starts with each resident separating waste in the home. This means having at least four different bins/bags for plastic, paper organic waste and unsorted mixed waste.

Today, Milan is considered one of the most efficient European cities for waste management.

AMSA, part of the A2A Group, is the waste management company responsible for waste management in Milan. They state on their website that 100% of the municipal waste produced in Milan is sent to be recycled or used for energy production, eliminating the need to bring primary waste to landfills.

COVID-19 update: If anyone in your household is ill with COVID-19 do not separate your waste. It is recommended use double bagging and throw everything in the unsorted waste bag (transparent bag).

Which bag does it go in?


Unsorted waste

All refuse that cannot be treated as separate waste
Collected two times a week


Plastic and metal

Plastic bottles, tubes and bags, plastic and polystyrene tubs for food, metal tins and tubes for food, cans for drinks.
Collected once a week


Glass only

Bottles, jars and vases
Collected weekly



Newspapers, magazines, books, notebooks, cardboard boxes, cardboard packaging, paper drink containers.
Collected weekly


Food and organic waste

Fruit and vegetables waste, meat, fish, kitchen waste, food leftovers, rice, bread, biscuits, pasta and baked food
Collected: twice a week


Expired Pharmaceuticals and medicine

Each pharmacy has a designated receptacle for expired medicines, creams, vitamins, syringes or other pharmaceutical products.

Old batteries

Most supermarkets and electronics stores have a designated receptacle for old batteries.  

Furniture and large appliances

If you have a couch, a fridge, washing machine or other large items for pick up, you must register on the AMSA portal and make a reservation. The portal is only available in Italian.  You will be asked what kind of item, and your street address.  Most items are free for curbside pickup, other require payment. You will be given a time and day of when to leave your item.

Surgical masks and gloves

Medical studios and clinics have special receptacles for medical equipment and instruments.

Masks and gloves used at home can be left in the Transparent Unsorted Waste bag.  Use double bagging if used while ill.

Used  Clothing

Charity organizations such as Caritas collect clothing for the needy. Large yellow receptacles can be throughout the city. You can search the nearest one by selecting “Indumenti Usati” on the Amsa service area map below.

The Red Cross, Humana and Dona Valore are other organizations that collect clothing. Search online the name of an association + “raccolta indumenti usati milano”.

Still Not sure where to toss it?
Click here to download the pdf in English

Waste Collection in Milan

Curbside collection service is available throughout the entire city. Each independent home owner or apartment building administrator is responsible for leaving trash bins out on the correct day.  Each area of the city has a designated time and day. To find your neighborhood,  click here to view the map,  add your address and the days and times for each pick-up will appear in the table below the map.

Find the trash collection schedule in your Milan neighborhood

In addition to Milan, AMSA serves the municipalities of Bresso, Buccinasco, Cesate, Cormano, Corsico, Novate Milanese, Paderno Dugnano, Pero, Pioltello, Segrate, San Donato Milanese, Segrate, Settimo Milanese and Trezzano sul Naviglio.

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For further information on recycling and waste management in Mian, visit the AMSA website available in Italian, English, Spanish, French, Chinese, Arabic, Ukrainian, Romanian, Sinhala, and Filipino.

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