Antwerp calls on its residents not to leave litter behind in parks

The city authorities in Antwerp have called on residents no not leave litter behind in public parks and on the quayside next to the River Scheldt. With the fine weather and the choice of leisure activities still limited due to the coronavirus epidemic, people are flocking to parks and other public spaces in their droves. This is especially true in urban areas such as Antwerp where many people don’t have a garden or even a balcony on which they can sit and enjoy the sunshine.  

The downside to this is that more people means more litter. As well as calling on those that visitor public open spaces to act responsibly and take their litter away with them or put it in a bin, the city authorities are also deploying 50 extra operatives from the City Cleansing Department to remove litter and ensure that bins are emptied more frequently. 

Despite this extra effort, the city authorities say that they are fighting a losing battle. With bars and restaurants closed people are picnicking more in parks, while others are cracking open a bottle of wine or sharing a few cans of beer with their partner or friend(s). 

Not deterred by the possibility of being given a 350 fine, some people are leaving their rubbish behind. This means that some parks in the city are strewn with rubbish.  The Antwerp City Alderman responsible for keeping the city clean and tidy Fons Duchateau (nationalist) told the regional TV station ATV that if everyone makes a bit more effort the city will be a whole lot cleaner.