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Anger over Brussels' decision to resume night-time rubbish collections
Bruxelles Propreté rubbish trucks will resume their night rounds for the first time in more than six years, it has been announced.
Starting from 15 May, trucks from the regional waste collection agency will circulate on certain roads between 20.00 and 2.00 in an effort to reduce road traffic at peak hours as well as the amount of time that rubbish bags will be on the streets.
But Saint-Josse mayor Emir Kir said the decision had come as a shock. "I'm very angry. It's a real disaster for the tranquility of our inhabitants,” he told RTBF.
“I don't understand anything any more. The region is asking us to work on noise pollution with the Quiet Brussels plan.
"We already have the planes flying overhead, now we will have trucks that will be driving in the evening and at night. It's really unacceptable.
"We're unbalancing the functioning of the city. I'm surprised because it was something that was not planned, and I regret nobody took into account the opinion of the municipalities."
Kir is not the only one opposed to the move. SLFP spokesperson Michel Piersoul said that unions were not ruling out a strike against the decision.
“The lengths of the round have been greatly extended,” he told RTBF. “The weight each person collects during a round is also greater, with 6.5 tonnes per collector compared to four to five tonnes previously.
"What will happen if the workers haven't finished at 2.00? There are questions that remain unanswered."
The office of Brussels minister for public hygiene Alain Maron, who is behind the decision to restore the night rounds, said that the nocturnal collections would be planned to limit noise pollution in residential areas as much as possible.