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New waste collection rules: Fines for putting bags out on wrong day from 1 October
Brussels residents who put their rubbish bags out on the wrong day, after the introduction of new rules on waste collections since mid-May, can expect to be fined from 1 October.
Municipalities in the Belgian capital implemented new rubbish rules earlier this summer in order to adhere to EU standards that will come into effect later, and the grace period is coming to a close.
Fines for having bags on the curb on the wrong day will start at €50 to €100, but could reach several thousand euros for repeat offenders.
Glass not sorted can be fined €150 and electrical items wrongly disposed of in the regular household waste bag could attract a €300 fine.
Brussels residents were given a few months to get used to the new pick-up calendar, but collection service Bruxelles Propreté will continue to raise awareness for at least another two months.
Fines will not only be imposed on people who take out the rubbish outside official times, but also when food scraps are not properly sorted into the proper orange bags.
The recently introduced schedule includes fewer pick-up days for some communes because less waste is expected as a result of the new orange bags for food waste.
The change has not been without issues. In certain neighbourhoods, residents have just a two-hour window to take out the rubbish, between 18.00 and 20.00. Bags of waste have piled up on some streets as a result.
But while acknowledging that the two-hour window can be tricky, Bruxelles Propreté said this was "the best balance", according to spokesperson Adel Lassouli.
Lassouli explained that taking out rubbish before that time is not allowed by the municipalities because it is unsightly. But putting out waste after 22.00 would mean that the collection services are busy until late into the night, which would cause noise pollution.
Rubbish collectors have also protested against the change, saying that fewer collection windows will result in having to handle larger quantities of waste at a time.