Eindhoven litter cleaners in race for national award

Eindhoven litter cleaners in race for national prize(PC:Studio040)

A vest, a grabber and a rubbish bag. That’s all it takes to make the neighbourhood a bit cleaner. Troep Troopers (Rubbish Rangers) Eindhoven started doing that just three years ago. They walk and clean up litter at the same time. Now, the volunteer organisation is in the race for the national Award for Sustainability.

When I got an e-mail I thought: ‘someone is pulling a terrible prank on me’,” Gina Makken says in response to the nomination. She started Troep Troopers Eindhoven with Richard Kemner three years ago.

From ecstasy pills to knives

Since then, the litter cleaners have spread across the city like an oil slick. The Troop Troopers are active in seventeen neighbourhoods. During their walks, they find all sorts of things. They find ecstasy pills, knives and cigarette butts on the ground. For cigarette butts, that is not always the end.

“Eventually they will end up in the sea. The filter is not dissolved and ends up in the fish. And then that fish is just unlucky and gets caught. And so it goes full circle, because the fish ends up back on your plate,” explains volunteer Ruud de Haard on the importance of litter clean-up.

Contacts in the neighbourhood

It is not only good for nature. Walking and picking up litter also has a social aspect. “By picking up litter, you also meet other people in your neighbourhood,” says Gina Makken.

Voting for Troep Troopers Eindhoven is still open until next Thursday. Voting can be done by clicking on this link. The winner will be announced early next year.


Translated by: Shanthi Ramani

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