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LIVING IN AUSTRIA

Repair bonus: How to get money back when electrical items break in Austria

There's never a good time for your fridge or washing machine to break, but Austria's new 'repair bonus' scheme does at least bring a silver lining by covering some of your costs.

Broken washing machine
No need to ditch your broken electrical devices; Austria will soon allow you to get them repaired for half price. Photo: Simon Hurry/Unsplash

The new Reparaturbonus scheme can be used to cover costs of repairs of electrical devices, but not regular maintenance.

The scheme started in just a few of Austria’s regions earlier this year, but from Tuesday April 26th the repair bonus is available nationwide.

The Reparaturbonus works by covering some of the cost of repairs for Austrian residents, with up to €200 per device refunded. It covers large household items like fridges, washing machines, tumble dryers, and coffee machines but also things like computers, mobile phones, e-bikes, electronic toys and garden tools.

READ ALSO: How to save money on bills in Austria

This is part of Austria’s so-called ‘eco-social’ tax reform, and the scheme is set to be in place across Austria until at least 2026. The Ministry of Climate Protection has allocated €130 million to cover the costs of the scheme.

The process involves creating a repair voucher at reparaturbonus.at and downloading it or printing it out. The voucher can then be taken to a participating repair business.

This means you will only need to pay up to 50 percent of the full cost upfront, with the business using the voucher to apply for the remainder of the money from the government. 

READ ALSO: Seven tips to save money in Austria

Customers can apply for one voucher per device, but can then apply for more vouchers for other devices.

All participating companies are marked as a Reparaturbonus business and listed on the website, which also has a search function to allow users to find a registered business in their district.

 

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LIVING IN AUSTRIA

How to dispose of unwanted furniture or whitegoods in Vienna legally

Got an unwanted mattress, fridge, or sofa? Here’s how you can legally get it off your hands in Vienna.

How to dispose of unwanted furniture or whitegoods in Vienna legally

If you find yourself with a large piece of furniture or big household appliance that has seen its prime and is not bound to the trashcan, then you might be wondering where to dispose of them – legally, that is.

Even if it is not uncommon to see furniture or appliances next to the big trashcans often placed near households and apartment complexes, it is illegal to leave them there.

Different cities have different methods – some will even pick up trash at specific times and places. To know how your city deals with bulky waste (Sperrmüll), you can google “Sperrmüll + the name of your city”.

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

Vienna has several waste collection points where you can leave bulky waste, electrical appliances, hazardous waste (in household quantities) and other old goods for no charge.

The use of the Wiener Mistplätze is subject to certain quantity limits and requirements, but they are to avoid industrial use. Therefore, most households will have no problem with the limitations.

Here you can find several collection points in Vienna.

It is worth pointing out that delivery to those sites can only be made by cars with Viennese license plates, on foot or by bicycle. Furthermore, no trailers or company cars are allowed to leave trash at these collection points.

What can you bring to the collection centres?

This is the place to bring large sheets of plastic foil, bulky or large metal parts and electrical appliances, for example.

Additionally, you can bring small amounts of bulky waste, wood, styrofoam, large cardboard boxes, green waste and used tires to any waste collection centres.

Depending on what you are disposing of, you might need to go to the Rinter centre, one of the larger ones.

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

The centres also have a separate division where it is possible to donate old items still in good condition, the so-called 48er-Tandler-Box.

Tableware, small furniture, electrical appliances, clothes, toys and other items can be reused and bought at a low price at the 48er-Tandler reuse shop.

Most centres are open only from Monday to Friday during business hours, but others are also available on Saturdays.

What to do if I don’t have a car?

If you don’t need a car but still need to dispose of a large appliance, the Viennese solution varies.

Some will take public transport with a couple of friends trying to help them carry an old sofa via the u-bahn, although that can get a little tough at peak hour. 

Alternatively, you can borrow or rent a vehicle to try and save costs.

READ ALSO: The downsides of Vienna you should be aware of before moving there

But Vienna City also has a service that will pick up the trash for a low fee – even if it is located in the attic, a basement or a courtyard.

It’s the Entrümpelungsdienst und Sperrmüllabfuhr der MA 48. You can also ask for the “dump service” when the city of Vienna brings a trough (the smallest can fit 12 cubic meters).

Once you fill it up, they will remove it and take it to the appropriate place.

Costs will depend on the amount of trash, the size of the appliance, and where in the household it is located.

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