Some 250 tonnes of illegal rubbish were collected during the third year of the “Major Spring Clean-up”, organised last weekend in Wallonia. Amongst the rubbish littering public highways and paths, more than 70,000 volunteer citizens involved in the project notably collected beer cans, various types of packaging and plastic bags.
In the Liège province the largest quantity of rubbish was collected (a total of 13,543 sacks being a mixture of PMC polythene and general rubbish sacks), followed by the Hainaut province (12,730), Luxembourg (6,581), Namur (6,040) and Walloon Brabant (4,172).
Wallonia’s Minister for the Environment, Carlo Di Antonio (cdH – Humanist Democratic Centre), said, “The objective of the Major Spring Clean-up is above all to mobilise, and raise awareness amongst, citizens about public cleanliness. However, the data gathered give us a picture of the state of our territory’s cleanliness and the type of rubbish which is found in the countryside.”
The volunteers said that in 74% of cases, the PMC sacks collected contained in the majority metal cans.
Within the category of general-purpose bags various types of packaging (45%) and plastic bags (more than 18%) dominate. Next-ranked in such bags, there are other types of rubbish, such as cigarette butts, household rubbish, tissues (17%), paper/cartons (10%) and glass (8%).
Moreover, construction waste, used tyres, household waste sacks and plastic sheeting were found in streets, forests and by the roadside. Carlo Di Antonio laments, “This is a situation which is all the more incomprehensible since waste management parks are open and free to all Walloons.” He went on, “There is therefore absolutely no reason to abandon rubbish on public highways and footpaths!”