The Hague opens public ‘bread bins’ in a bid to stop the rats

The Hague city council is using special waste bins for old bread in a bid to stop people throwing it into gardens and parks to feed the birds. The 18th council ‘bread bin’ was opened for business earlier this week, outside a primary school in the city’s Moerwijk district.

The problem is particularly acute in neighbourhoods with many Muslims because the Koran forbids throwing bread away. Instead the Koran states food should be ‘returned to the earth’, the Volkskrant said on Thursday.

The old bread ‘attracts vermin and the rats are becoming increasingly tame,’ Cindy Slaghuis of the Aarde-Werk foundation told the paper.

The bread collected in The Hague is used to make biogas.

Every day the equivalent of 435,000 loaves of bread are thrown away in the Netherlands – or 127 million kilos a year,’ Slaghuis says. ‘Of course it does not all end up on the streets, but it is still a shame. More bread bins is not the answer. It is better to freeze bread and use a couple of slices a day instead.’

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