'Still much to do': 460 tonnes of litter collected in Brussels parks last year

'Still much to do': 460 tonnes of litter collected in Brussels parks last year
Parc de Forest. Credit: The Brussels Times

Despite a growing number of visitors to Brussels parks cleaning up after themselves, many of these green spaces remain littered, which has a long-lasting impact on the environment and biodiversity in the parks.

Whilst the continued bad weather has limited the number of people in parks, Brussels Environment (the public service responsible for environment and energy in the Brussels-Capital Region) has pre-emptively launched its third awareness campaign for cleanliness in all the parks it manages ahead of its busiest season.

"Last year, more than 460 tonnes of waste were collected in the regional parks. Unfortunately, this waste does not always end up in the dustbin and gets scattered by the wind or birds," the organisation noted.

Brussels Environment stressed the negative impact on other park users every time someone forgets to throw away rubbish. It obviously also adds to the work of maintenance staff and is harmful to the environment and biodiversity. "One discarded cigarette butt can pollute up to 500 litres of water," the organisation noted. Meanwhile, fines for littering can rise to a sizeable €350.

Although the amount of waste gathered was 7.5% less than in 2021, Brussels Environment stressed that there is "still much to do."

Reaching out to locals

To encourage residents and visitors to take action, the regional administration is relaunching its cleanliness awareness campaign until mid-September.

The campaign urges people visiting the green spaces to deposit their waste in a bin or take it home to "keep the parks clean and liveable all year round." Summer bars and local traders will also take part in the campaign, handing out paper bags to their customers to encourage them to take their waste home with them if the park's bins are full.

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In May and June, activities and events on the theme of cleanliness and sorting will also take place in several parks in the Brussels Region. Brussels Environment plans to employ 55 seasonal workers until September to assist these teams.

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