Brussels waste management staff get productivity premium as complaints approach 5,000
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    Brussels waste management staff get productivity premium as complaints approach 5,000

    © Yelp
    © Yelp

    The Brussels regional government has allocated 11 million euros for a productivity premium for the staff of Bruxelles Propreté, the region’s waste management agency. “This is an important motivating factor that contributes to the group spirit of the enterprise,” said the secretary of state for public cleanliness Fadila Laanan. The region paid out a similar amount last year.

    Each member of staff receives the basic premium, which can be increased according to attendance record and other measures.

    “The staff members of Bruxelles Propreté have to work until late in the day in order to carry out a job that is essential to our quality of life,” Laanan said. “This productivity premium is important in my view because it is a recognition for the hard and difficult work they do every day.”

    The news comes, however, just days after the agency reported a deficit for the past year of 25 million euros, mainly as a result of a frozen government grant and increased personnel costs. The agency also faces a call from private sector waste management companies from other countries for action to be taken against what is alleged to be illegal state aid to industry.

    In 2018 the agency received a grant from the federal government of 171 million euros, in addition to self-made earnings of 68.8 million. However the soaring costs, including the employment of 492 new employees, left the agency with a deficit of 25 million euros for 2018, with a forecast deficit of 51 million euros for this year.

    Meanwhile, the agency received 4,638 complaints last year of rubbish bags which remained uncollected after what should have been the official collection. The agency found nearly 60% of the complaints, or 2,757, were founded, according to La Libre.

    The most significant number of complaints came from the commune of Schaerbeek, with 588 in all, 285 of which were found to be grounded. The commune is locked in a dispute with residents of some areas over fines handed out for bin-bags put out at the wrong time or place. Residents argue that the offenders are people from outside the commune, and in many cases from outside the Brussels region. The fine for a wrongly placed rubbish bag can go up to 175 euros per case.

    In many cases, residents claim, the bag was put out for collection at the correct time, but was not picked up by the trucks, meaning it later appeared to have been put out in error.

    Alan Hope
    The Brussels Times