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Brussels rubbish collections back to normal from Tuesday

19:56 25/11/2019

Piles of rubbish bags on Brussels' streets should start to be cleared again from Tuesday, as collectors at Bruxelles Propreté have called off their industrial action.

Staff called a work-to-rule last week, which involved taking their legal break entitlement and sticking to the official rules which state that only one bag should be picked up in each hand.

As a result, many collection rounds were not completed on time - and rubbish was left on the streets. It is estimated that about one in eight white bin bags in the Brussels region have not been picked up over the past week.

The collectors were protesting about a proposed change to their work schedule. Under the current system, they are allowed to head home early as soon as two-thirds of the vehicles out on rounds have returned to the depot.

Bruxelles Propreté wanted to increase the threshold to 90%. Management said staff had been rushing to complete their rounds in the quickest possible time, leading to a rise in workplace accidents.

After discussions with unions, Bruxelles Propreté has backed down. All rounds should be completed as normal on Tuesday - although because of the collection schedule, it could take until Friday before all the surplus bags are picked up.

Written by The Bulletin