New waste-sorting model for the capital's metro stations

New waste-sorting model for the capital's metro stations

Metro and pre-metro stations in the capital region will soon be equipped with new garbage bins for sorting waste, according to the Société des transports intercommunaux de Bruxelles (STIB).

The new bins have already been tested at De Brouckère metro station. They will be installed at 16 more stations between mid-May and mid-July, the transport company announced on Thursday. By the end of the year, the new model will be spread over the entire underground network, STIB said.

At a rate of two to three stations per week, Stib and Brussels Mobility plan to install 552 batches, equipped with lightly coloured transparent bags to distinguish between paper-cardboard, PMC and residual waste.

The first stations supplied are spread across the four corners of the capital, from Vandervelde (Woluwe-Saint-Lambert) to Bizet (Anderlecht) via Diamant (Schaerbeek) and Horta (Saint-Gilles).

STIB had initiated selective sorting in the early 2000s but was forced to abandon it in 2016 for security reasons, following the Brussels attacks that hit the Maelbeek metro station in particular. The new model still complies with this security requirement thanks to the visibility and transparency of the bin bags.

The orange bin, intended for food waste and mandatory for companies and administrations in the Brussels Region since 1 May, is however conspicuous by its absence. “For the moment, it is not planned,” a spokesperson for the STIB acknowledged.

“The idea is to promote a clear and quickly identifiable design for travellers, who are just passing through,” she explained. “Otherwise, the experience would lose all its interest.”

The shops in the stations are required to separate food waste. “Their volume of waste is much greater than that of the users” of the STIB, the spokesperson said.

Food is not forbidden in metro stations, but it is on board STIB vehicles.

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