BONN Both citizens and mayor want a cleaner Bonn. A crackdown on garbage offenders has begun and stiffer fines will be imposed beginning in February. 26 officers will be zeroing in on those who litter in public spaces.
One last inhale and the cigarette ends up at the curb. "I really didn't think about it," the passer-by apologizes as she is caught throwing it onto the ground in Bonn city center on Wednesday. In the future she will probably no longer dispose of her cigarette butts so carelessly. "That costs 25 euros", explained Oliver Wiesert from the Stadtordnungsdienst (city ordinance service responsible for maintaining order and security ) as he showed her the "yellow card".
In order to make the city cleaner, 26 officers from this department will now focus more of their attention on seeing that trash ends up in the appropriate waste containers. Anyone who throws chewing gum, cigarettes, french fries or pizza boxes onto streets or in green areas will have to reckon with "garbage tickets" starting in the coming year.
"Bonn is not as clean as it could be, and we want to do something about it," said Lord Mayor Ashok Sridharan when he presented the new catalogue of fines together with City Director Wolfgang Fuchs and Günter Dick, Head of the Civil Services Department. Although there is already the possibility of imposing warning fines for misdemeanors, according to Dick this was "very rarely used". Environmental offenders in Bonn should not only expect that they may be caught at any time, but they should also be prepared for stiffer fines.
50 euro fine for dog poo
"We've raised the fines significantly," Dick explained. Starting in 2019, throwing away a cigarette butt, a paper cup or a pack of cigarettes will cost 25 euros, cans and fast-food packaging 35 euros, emptying a car ashtray, spitting out chewing gum or dog waste 50 euros. For household rubbish that ends up in public trash bins instead of at home, it will cost offenders 75 euros, and for bulky rubbish that is not properly disposed of it will cost 100 euros.
In a transition phase of four to six weeks, garbage offenders will receive a verbal warning and shown the "yellow card". Beginning in February, fines will be collected. Excuses will not be accepted. Sridharan: "If you can't find a trash can, you just take your trash with you. Even the cigarette butts. My wish is that all of us who live together here in Bonn will work together to make our beautiful city cleaner."
“A clean city is a safe city.”
The cleanliness offensive is part of a new concept, which includes the creation of 17 new jobs. "With this concept, we are responding to the frequently expressed wish of residents that there be more presence on the part of the city ordinance service. I am convinced that this will make an important contribution to public safety and also to greater cleanliness," said Fuchs. Sridharan is also convinced of this: "A clean city is a safe city."
"We see the regulatory concept as a good contribution to noticeably and sustainably improving public cleanliness and thus public safety," said CDU parliamentary group leader Klaus-Peter Gilles, explaining the initiative. However, Oliver Wiesert and his colleagues now have to don a thick skin: "Everyone reacts differently when caught. While some are understanding, others insult us. But we will have to deal with that."
(orig. text: Gabriele Immenkeppel, Translation: ck)