The cost to cities of illegally dumped waste: A financial challenge

The cost to cities of illegally dumped waste: A financial challenge

Illegally disposed waste burdens cities in North Rhine-Westphalia with significant costs every year, as a recent survey shows. The problem of wild garbage dumping remains massive and the financial impact on municipalities is considerable. Severe penalties can apply to those responsible.

The survey shows that many cities in North Rhine-Westphalia continue to struggle with illegally disposed waste, and in most cases the number of wild garbage dumps remains at the level of previous years or is even increasing. Neuss, for example, records around 7.000 wild dumps per year, with old tires in particular increasingly being dumped illegally. Last year, Duisburg reported 7.813 wild dumps with a total of around 1.000 tons of garbage, while Bonn recorded 2.558 wild dumps.

Disposing of this illegal waste causes significant costs for cities. Cologne, for example, spends around 13 million euros annually to collect, transport and properly dispose of illegal waste. Smaller municipalities such as Kleve are also affected, where the city has to raise between 17.000 and 27.000 euros annually to remove illegally dumped waste.

Despite cities' efforts to limit costs by punishing violations and holding polluters accountable, the problem persists. According to the Circular Economy Act, dumping uncontrolled waste can be punished with fines of up to 100.000 euros, but in practice these are unfortunately rarely imposed.

The cities also rely on preventative measures and educational campaigns to counteract illegal waste at an early stage. From campaigns in schools to regular joint initiatives by the public order office, businesses and the police, cities are trying to raise awareness of how to deal with waste responsibly.

Despite all efforts, cities like Bonn are appealing for better staffing in their city public order services in order to be able to prosecute and punish waste offenders more effectively. The hope also lies in a long-term change in the consciousness and behavior of citizens, supported by comprehensive educational work from childhood onwards.


Source: Rheinisch Post

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