“Brussels’ Mandatory Food Waste Sorting: Everything You Need to Know”

2023-05-14 18:10:00

We talked about it at length in these pages: Brussels is having its dustbin revolution. A reform which in recent days has sparked an avalanche of criticism from several Brussels municipalities: lack of communication, negative effects of night rounds and the disappearance of a collection of white bags in certain entities… Last-minute reactions which have in no way weakened Bruxelles Propreté and its minister Alain Maron (Ecolo): the reform will indeed come into effect on Monday.

Sorting food waste therefore becomes mandatory. To do this, you must acquire the famous orange bags. You can also receive a free orange rigid bin that allows you to place this bag in your accommodation and avoid odors. This bin, which is in no way compulsory, can be collected from 23 locations throughout the region, including recyparks. However, do not hesitate to make a phone call before picking it up: some distribution points are experiencing some delivery delays and are out of stock.

Collateral effect of the European obligation to sort food waste: the quantity of white bags should drop sharply (40% according to estimates). Bruxelles Propreté is therefore taking the opportunity to reorganize its collections. For the distracted, a reminder is in order.

When should I take out my trash?

As you read these lines, you should have already received your new collection calendars in your mailbox. The communes are now divided into zones with different hours for taking out the bags. Please note: sometimes the same street is spread over several zones. So don’t necessarily model yourself on your neighbours… If you haven’t received your calendar, it is still available in online on a dedicated website(https://www.arp-gan.be/fr/calendrier-sorties-de-sacs).

One white bag collection per week: am I concerned?

For 10 municipalities of the Second Crown (Auderghem, Berchem, Evere, Ganshoren, Jette, Uccle, Watermael-Boitsfort, the two Woluwe and the two Brussels localities Haren and Neder-Over-Heembeek), a collection of white bags is canceled per week . As explained, the regional authorities foresee a decrease in the volume of white bags: the Brussels Cleanliness Agency (ABP) is therefore reorganizing its troops to compensate for the increase in orange bags. But why are not all municipalities concerned? This change is first tested in less dense entities. In a second step, this measure should be extended to the entire Region, but at this time no date has yet been announced. However, take a good look at your calendar even if you are not in these 10 municipalities, because some roads in other localities whose collection round is connected to one of the ten entities mentioned above also switch to a collection of white bags per week. .

Evening collections: where and why?

Despite the reluctance of unions and some municipalities, evening collections come back for 20% of the rounds, and this mainly on the main regional axes. Again, this change is marked on your calendar. The ABP trucks will start their rounds at 8 p.m. It will therefore be necessary to take out your bag between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. This period of time, which is quite short in particular for night and evening workers, has been defined in order to leave bags in the street for as short a time as possible, and thus improve public cleanliness. This measure, like the others, will be evaluated and outing times could be modified in the coming months.

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What to put in his orange bag?

Of course, the devil is in the details: not all food waste is compatible with the orange bag. Indeed, the sorted waste goes to biomethanation units which do not take care of all the residues. For meal leftovers (including meat and fish scraps), peelings, coffee grounds and tea bags, there’s no problem. Paper tissues and napkins are also permitted.

On the other hand, bones, carcasses, and fish bones are prohibited, as well as egg, nut and mussel shells, pits, garden waste (which goes in the green bag), litter, ashes wood, nappies and liquid food waste (sauces, oils, leftover soup, etc.).

Will I be fined if I don’t follow these rules?

No, you will not be fined if, on May 15, you take out a white bag with an apple core in it. A period of awareness is planned for the first few months. During this period, stickers will be placed on the bags taken out at the wrong time… and which will not be picked up to force the people of Brussels to make the effort. In September, on the other hand, you will expose yourself to a fine of at least €56. Similarly, if you don’t return your bag to your home in the wrong way to wait for the next collection, you can receive a second fine for collection costs, which amounts to a minimum of €100.

In addition, the ABP checks 300 white bags daily to see if they are properly sorted. From September, if food waste is found there and if the agents can trace it back to you (name, address, or flagrante delicto, etc.), you will then be liable to a fine. However, the APB specifies that everyone can explain themselves before a sanction.

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