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CHRISTMAS

Posting Christmas presents from Austria? Here’s what you need to know

As we head into another Christmas season impacted by the pandemic, here are the details you need to know when sending post throughout Austria and overseas.

Posting Christmas presents from Austria? Here's what you need to know
Make sure your Christmas gifts make it in time to go under the tree. Photo: Jenna Hamra/Pexels

To make sure a parcel arrives in time for Christmas in Austria, domestic parcels should be posted by December 21st for regular post, or by December 23rd with the express service.

When sending a parcel to another European country the deadline is December 15th.

And for gifts going outside Europe, the deadline is December 13th.

Within Austria, letters and cards should be sent by December 20th for economy post and by December 22nd with priority post. 

READ MORE: Austria’s best Christmas markets for 2021 (and the Covid rules in place)

To send letters and cards to another country in Europe, the economy post deadline is December 12th and for the rest of the world it is December 8th.

A full list of dates and destinations can be found at the Austria Post website.

Post offices in Austria are open during Christmas week from December 20th to December 23rd and the opening hours are 8am to 6pm. On December 24th, all branches are open from 9am to midday. 

Austria Post is warning that Covid-19 restrictions could lead to delays and advises customers to send any post as early as possible to ensure it arrives in time for Christmas.

Sending post to the UK post-Brexit

The UK is no longer a member of the EU, which means an increase in prices when sending some packages, and occasionally a requirement for extra forms.  

The cost of sending a letter to the UK has not changed as the country is considered as “the rest of Europe”.

But parcels have been moved from Zone 1 to Zone 2, so these prices have increased.

For example, before Brexit, it would cost €16.28 to send a 2kg parcel from Austria to the UK. Today it costs €20.58.

Also, parcels need a customs form to be filled out, all Post Express International items being sent to the UK now require a commercial invoice.

READ ALSO: Martinigansl and more: 11 delicious Austrian dishes you need to try

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LIVING IN AUSTRIA

EXPLAINED: Everything you need to know about recycling in Austria

Austria is keen on recycling, but the many different types of waste cans are sometimes confusing to newcomers and foreigners. Here's what you need to know.

EXPLAINED: Everything you need to know about recycling in Austria

Recycling is very much a part of Austrian culture. You will also find different bins for different waste items in almost every household in the country.

Every year, in Vienna alone, about 100,000 tons of recyclable organic material is collected in over 80,000 containers and processed into compost. This, in turn, can be collected by citizens in household quantities – so you can use your own trash to grow your plants.

Glass is also collected in separate containers, at over 2,500 public locations and at the dung places in the city. However, as they can be noisy, people should only dispose of glass waste between 6am and 10pm, according to the City of Vienna.

READ ALSO: How to dispose of unwanted furniture or whitegoods in Vienna legally

There are several containers throughout the cities where you can dispose of your waste. Still, it is crucial to do it right – and your neighbour will knock on your door if the things you are putting your paper together with your “common” trash.

Here are the main types of waste cans you will find in Austria – it is worth pointing out that these are based in the capital Vienna and might look a bit different depending on your region.

Waste paper

The Altpapier Karton, a red-coloured waste carton, is where you should dump your newspapers, magazines, catalogues, brochures, books, writing paper, letters, copybooks and telephone directories, as well as clean frozen food boxes, paper bags, and cardboard boxes (folded or filled with paper).

This is not a place to drop any composite materials, such as milk and beverage cartons, carbon paper, dirty papers, or receipts.

Organic waste

Also known as Biomüll, it usually has a brown colour. This is where you should throw away your lawn, tree and hedge cuttings. Weeds, shrubs, windfall, leaves, water plants, unseasoned and uncooked fruit and vegetable scraps, stale bread, coffee grounds, or tea leaves.

Organic waste disposal is no place for plastic, eco plastic bags, or eco plastic products. You should also not throw away meat, bones, food leftovers, large branches, eggs, dairy products, content from vacuum cleaner bags, cat litter, varnished or laminated wood, hazardous waste, composite materials such as nappies or milk cartons, or soil.

READ ALSO: Why does Vienna’s waste department have a helicopter and a military plane?

Clear glass

The clear glass (Weissglass) container, a grey one, will hold clear non-returnable glass bottles and pickle jars (they should be empty but not necessarily cleaned). You can also drop clear, condensed milk and soft drinks and any clear glass containers and transparent wine and liquor bottles.

Do not throw in any coloured glass, bottle caps, corks, lead seals (such as champagne bottles), screw tops, plastic bottles, mirrors, window glass, flat or wired glass, light bulbs, china, crystal glass or drinking glasses.

Coloured glass

The green container is reserved for Buntglass or coloured glass. This is where you should throw your coloured non-returnable glass bottles, such as slightly coloured glass, wine, soft drinks, and liquor bottles.

Brown and green glass can go in here together, along with other non-clear glasses. 

READ ALSO: Austria to challenge EU nuclear green label in court

Just as with the clear glass, it is essential not to throw bottle caps, corks, lead seals (such as the ones from champagne bottles), screw tops, plastic bottles, mirrors, window glass, flat or wired glass, light bulbs, china, ceramics, crystal glass or drinking glasses.

Plastic bottles, drink cartons, cans

The yellow collection container will receive any plastic bottles, drink cartons and cans (Plastikflaschen, Getränkekartons, Dosen). This includes all plastic bottles for drinks (PET bottles), for supplies such as vinegar and dairy products, detergents and household cleaners, and plastic containers for cosmetics and toiletries.

READ ALSO: Hasta la mista, baby? How to vote for your favourite Vienna trash can joke

You may also add other plastic bottles, beverage cans, food cans, metal foil, metal tubes, metal tops of jars, and bottles.

Do not turn in any plastic bottles, engine oil bottles, lubricant and adhesive bottles, plastic cups, plastic foil, plastic bags, meat trays, styrofoam, rubber foam, wood, textiles, canisters, buckets, cookware, tools, cables, wires, bathroom or kitchen taps, pipes, steel straps, paint, varnish, and spray cans, etc.

Other waste

The black box will receive all your other waste (Restmüll) and any other residual waste that shouldn’t be thrown in the recycle bins and is not hazardous or bulky.

Hazardous waste or bulky trash

It is illegal to dispose of hazardous or bulky waste in these containers. Instead, there are several collection points in Vienna and other cities where you can leave them. City services will also collect bulky waste for a small fee.

Do you have any more questions about recycling and waste separation in Austria? Get in touoch at [email protected] and we will find the answers for you.

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