Litter and wastebags have been piling up on the sidewalks of a busy shopping area in Brussels for days, as roadblocks set to last for months have been blocking off garbage trucks from the area.
Residents have been left to navigate the messy sidewalks as the trucks have been unable to enter Rue Strassart and some parts of the Chaussée de Wavre for at least ten days, according to reports.
The problem reportedly caused a group of tourists to flee from a hotel in the area, where several shops, businesses, and restaurants there put out large quantities of waste bags on the sidewalks at the end of each day.
The piling waste has also sparked complaints from residents, as the problem was made worse by the recent heatwave temperatures, with foul odors spreading through the streets.
The roadworks, ongoing since 5 August, are set to last for months, with authorities saying they would be completed on 1 October.
‘A real fiasco’
Local officials from the municipality of Ixelles have said they are aware of the problem but have little power to control it, as the areas concerned are under regional authority.
For Ixelles alderman for public cleanliness Nabil Messaoudi, the current problem is “untenable” and a “fiasco.”
“I grew up in this part of Ixelles but I no longer recognise my neighbourhood. This situation is a real fiasco,” he said, adding that an urgent meeting had been called with public cleaning agency Bruxelles Propreté in order to find a solution to the “untenable” situation.
Etienne Cornesse, spokesperson with Bruxelles Propreté, said that garbage containers had been deployed in the area since 1 August, but that instructions to bring the waste bags to the collection points were “not followed.”
“There are over 150 wastebags and overflowing containers in the area,” he said, adding that the situation should be quickly solved.