Illegal waste and dumping: enough!

Cube transparent Etterbeek septembre 2023

Saturday 16 September was World Cleanup Day 2023.

Many local authorities and associations organised clean-up operations on the day.  The initiatives of the City of Brussels were particularly spectacular this year! 

For their part, the municipalities of Etterbeek and Ixelles chose to raise awareness among their citizens of the problem of littering and illegal dumping, which all too often damage our environment... and nature!

Nothing speaks louder than reality!

For one week, the two local authorities chose to install a transparent 8 m³ cube filled with waste that was actually collected in 24 hours in their area!

For Etterbeek, the cube was installed on the Fernand Demany bridge (Thieffry metro station); for Ixelles, it was on Place Sainte-Croix.

The cubes carry a number of powerful messages, including the following:

  • On average, 25 kg/inhabitant/per year of litter and illegal dumping is dumped in public spaces.
  • Every year, in the Brussels Region, the volume of 5 Olympic swimming pools of rubbish is dumped in the street.
  • This cube is the volume of rubbish thrown away every hour in the streets of Brussels.
  • Litter is a serious threat to nature, biodiversity and the environment.

This exhibition of what we no longer want to see on our streets is designed to raise awareness of the need to eradicate littering and illegal dumping, bearing in mind that the local authorities and Brussels Public Waste offer a number of solutions for disposing of polluting waste and bulky items, including Recyparks, mobile Recyparks and home collections.

And if prevention doesn't work, there will unfortunately always be the need to impose penalties!


These initiatives by the communes of Etterbeek and Ixelles are in line with measure 54 of the regional urban cleanliness strategy Improving the prevention of public cleanliness offences by communicating about penalties or posting information in problem locations about the amounts and the number of fines imposed.