Amsterdam city council is to take a more proactive approach to reducing the amount of litter on the capital’s streets by installing more waste bins, taking on more staff and mounting a proactive campaign to encourage locals and tourists to dispose of their waste properly.
The city has been hit by a surge of complaints about rubbish bags being dumped on the street and torn open by gulls or people hunting for cans and bottles to take back to shops for cash.
City waste collection chief Zita Pels is now planning an offensive to combat the litter louts and illegal dumping, and that includes a boost in street sweeper numbers.
More outdoor recreation leads to more rubbish, Pels said. “And this year we are noticing the negative effect of the introduction of deposits on small plastic bottles and tins. Rubbish bins are being broken open to look for packaging with deposits and the waste is being left on the streets.”
Some waste bins will now be locked to stop people checking the contents for bottles and cans, Pels said. Special racks where people can leave bottles and cans for others to collect them will also be set up in more places outside the city centre and more bins will also be placed in the city’s parks.
In addition, shopkeepers will be “reminded” that they are required by law to keep the area around their premises clean, Pels said in her update to councillors.
Pels is also planning a special media campaign targeting students and their parents to remind them it is an offence to dump old furniture on the streets when moving house.
Large containers will also be placed outside student housing complexes so they can dispose of more waste when leaving or moving in.
City rubbish collection trucks collect waste on 120 to 160 different routes a day and extra rounds have been introduced in areas where there is more rubbish, Pels said.
This effort is paying off, she said. “The drop in the number of complaints about rubbish collection which started at the beginning of 2022 has continued into the first half of this year.”
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