Wallonia raises budget to clear waterways and waste

Wallonia raises budget to clear waterways and waste
The A601 highway that has been piled high with refuse from the floods. Credit: Belga

On Thursday, the Wallonia government approved an additional budget to clear rubbish and earth displaced by the deadly floods that wreaked havoc in the region in July.

It was known already that an enormous amount of waste needed to be processed; this had previously been estimated to weigh a total of 155,000 tonnes. However, it now appears that the already huge amount of waste is, in fact, larger than first expected, the office of Wallonia’s Environment Minister – Céline Tellier – announced.

In response, an additional €40 million will be made available to deal with the clearing process. This will supplement the €35 million already set aside for this task. Some €20 million will be used to clear waterways and riverbeds, Belga News Agency reports.

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At the end of November, 20,000 tonnes of waste had already been removed from waterways. But there still remains an estimated “60,000 tonnes as well as 100,000 tonnes of mud” to be cleared. Furthermore, polluted land must be treated as well as an estimated 50 tonnes of hazardous asbestos.

The catastrophic floods in July killed 42 in Belgium. Credit: Belga

In addition, €10 million of the budget will be spent on the temporary storage sites where much of the refuse has been deposited. One of these is the site that has been created on the A601 highway, to which further waste has been added as households are cleared – a laborious and time-consuming process.


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