The town council of Anderlecht has purchased 11 fake cameras in the fight against illegal dumping, but critics have questioned the steep price tag of €21,000 for the project.
Opposition member Gilles Verstraeten (N-VA) pointed out that it seems more logical to buy functioning cameras for that price, reports Bruzz.
“€21,000 for 11 fake cameras? The dissuasive effect of fake cameras I understand, but why do these things cost so much?” Verstraeten asked. “Isn’t it more interesting to buy cameras that work? They kind of waved my question away and approved the measure.”
A long-standing issue of trash in the streets
The 11 fake cameras are being added to the existing 16 real ones the municipality uses to prevent illegal dumping, which is a source of continued frustration in Brussels.
“To increase the deterrent effect for illegal dumping, the municipality has fake cameras in addition to real ones, so that in total there are more cameras on the ground,” Mayor Fabrice Cumps (PS) told La Capitale.
Gisteren gemeenteraad Anderlecht. Ik zie tussen de aanbestedingen €21.000 voor 11… Nepcamera’s. Ik dacht, dit kan niet. Opgezocht of er een merk of soort camera bestaat dat NEP heet. Niet dus. Toch even gevraagd. Blijkt om valse camera’s te gaan. Tegen sluikstorters dus… ?: pic.twitter.com/xCdSNuyz8R
— Gilles Verstraeten (@gilverstra) January 28, 2022
Translation: Yesterday’s Municipal Council in Anderlecht. I see among the tenders €21,000 for 11 fake cameras. I couldn’t believe it. Looked up whether there is a brand or type of camera called NEP. There isn’t. But I did ask. Turns out they are fake cameras. So against illegal dumping…
Verstraeten said a simple search on the Internet shows that fake cameras like the ones the municipality purchased cost around €20 to €30.
But according to Anderlecht’s Alderman of Cleanliness Allan Neuzy (Ecolo), the purchase price of a fake camera is a lot higher. She justified the high prices by saying that “the fake cameras must not be €20 cameras, otherwise everyone will see that they are fake.”
“The fake cameras look exactly the same as the working cameras, because people should not know if there is effectively a working camera inside. It works like roadside speed cameras. There you also do not know whether there is a camera or not.”
Verstraeten found that explanation insufficient.
“The fight against illegal dumping is a priority, but I think €1,900 for a camera that does not work is a lot of money, especially for a municipality that is quasi-broke and under the supervision of the Region,” he said.