Eindhoven has a massive problem with illegally dumped rubbish.
The amount of this being dumped being near underground containers has skyrocketed. The Eindhoven city council has received 7,000 reports of this in the last three months alone. In the whole of 2020, that was 17,000.
Nicole Raymakers of Nicky’s Lingerie is one of the people who complained. Every day, people dump their rubbish next to the underground containers. The problem is, in Krusstraat, these are right in front of her shop.
“The worst thing I ever found was goats’ and sheep’ heads,” Nicole says. “Not just one; ten. They were in bags, but birds pecked the bags open. So they were strewn everywhere. There’s also a lot of food waste from the eateries in the street.”
Victoria Park in Eindhoven’s city centre sometimes looks like a rubbish dump too. After a weekend, the containers are hard to reach because of all the bags dumped around them. Or containers are blocked by a cardboard box that’s been stuffed inside.
Frans Frederiks is forced to puts his rubbish bags next to the container. “I’m completely fed up with it. It’s unacceptable behaviour. This is illegal dumping.”
People dump mattresses and sofas on the street in Eindhoven. It’s a huge problem, says Nicole. Vermin has even infested her shop. “We had maggots in the shop once.”
“Someone had dumped meat by the containers. The maggots had hatched into flies in my display window. It’s enough to make you cry.”
According to the municipality and waste processor, Cure, there can be several reasons for this.
- The containers are too small.
- The container might be malfunctioning so that it won’t open.
- Internationals may not be well informed about waste collection in the city.
- Sometimes overfull bags are stuffed into the container, causing it to jam.
“Residents who’ve forgotten their card simply put their rubbish bag next to the container. Others then assume the container’s full and so do the same,” a spokesperson adds. There are also many more boxes lying next to the containers. That’s because online shopping has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“One shopkeeper left. He couldn’t leave the door open because of the stench,” says Nicole. According to her, there’s another problem in Kruisstraat. “There’s a lot of illegal occupancy here.”
“Those people don’t have passes for the containers. They all throw small bags of rubbish beside the containers. In the summer, it starts to stink.”
An extra rubbish truck now drives around in the city every day to try and tackle this issue. It collects all the rubbish from the popular dumping sites. The containers will also get new stickers. They’ll be in Dutch and English.
And the city is also going to be issuing fines. From being caught in the act to opening bags to find who dumped them. Nicole thinks this will help. “I think people hate having to cough up. I really hope they’ll do that.”
Compared to other cities in Brabant, the rubbish complaint figures are very high in Eindhoven. In Tilburg, there were 4,285 last year and not even 500 so far this year. For Breda, it was 991 in 2020 and 653 since January.
Translator: Melinda Walraven