Increased repression of acts of uncleanliness
In order to make the streets cleaner and improve the quality of life of residents, acts of littering in Brussels are now more easily and quickly punished by cleanliness officers.
The administrative settlement for environmental offences has been in force since 1 June. It allows officers in charge of enforcing fines at Brussels Environmental Services, Brussels Environment or local authorities to ask polluters to pay the fine more quickly for certain acts of pollution. This new measure is gradually being applied in the field.
Before this measure was introduced, punishing environmental offences sometimes led to lengthy legal proceedings that could take from 6 months to a year or more. From this summer, for certain offences, Brussels Environmental Services officers will be able to punish polluters directly at the time of the offence via an administrative transaction, by providing them with a transfer to be made within 2 weeks. This means that legal proceedings will cease and the procedure will be much quicker.
This new measure will be applied progressively by enforcement officers. It currently applies to cigarette butts, for which Brussels Public Hygiene has already issued 77 penalty notices with administrative settlements in just a few weeks.
In the near future, we will also be looking at throwing cans and then certain types of waste (bin bags, wooden planks, household products, etc.) illegally deposited around public litter bins or glass bins, for example. The problem areas are well known to the waste management services, which will be able to direct their action.
Faster penalties to act as a deterrent
Fines will range from €75 to €350, depending on the volume of waste. The larger the waste, the higher the fine. For very large items of waste deposited illegally, or when the waste is hazardous, collection costs are higher and the classic legal procedure applies, with a fine that can be well in excess of 350 euros.
There are also plans, in a second phase, to introduce an even faster procedure involving immediate collection. Polluters will then be able to pay their fine immediately to the inspecting officer.
Repression is an essential lever in a broader strategy
Even if illegal dumping is committed by a minority of people, the effects of these offences are disastrous in terms of the quality of community life. Repression is an essential lever.
This intensification of the repression is accompanied by a wider range of solutions for the capital's residents: opening of two new Recyparks in 2024, in Anderlecht and Haren (Brussels-City), collection of bulky items at home in mobile container parks that are set up for several weeks in the heart of neighbourhoods, in partnership with the municipalities.
Combating litter is one of the 14 strategic objectives of the "Clean.brussels" regional plan for a sustainably cleaner region, in force since its adoption in November 2022.