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Situation at Bruxelles-Propreté is ‘a disaster,’ say sources

19:16 01/07/2019

According to an investigative report  by Le Soir, Brussels’ trash collection and street cleaning agency Bruxelles-Propreté has serious budgetary problem, no future strategy and inadequate management. The problems have not been resolved over a five year period and are now “a disaster,” according to one source.

The paper spoke to various sources within the agency, all anonymous. They said that, although services had not improved, the agency was way over budget. There is also no long-term structural policy for waste management in Brussels, they said.

Sources laid most of the blame on Bruxelles-Propreté director-general Vincent Jumeau and state secretary Fadila Laanan, both of socialist party PS. They have long pointed the finger at each other for the agency’s continuing problems.

‘PS recruiting machine’

According to the sources, the agency is €20 to €50 million over budget because of “the PS recruiting machine,” which saw nearly 500 extra personnel hired over the last five years. Along with issues involving regional subsidies, the agency did not have the budget, they say, to pay all the extra staff.

A source within the Brussels regional government confirmed that Laanan approved the hiring of staff without having the budget or the approval of parliament. Laanan did not comment on Le Soir’s allegations, but a spokesperson said that extra staff was indeed needed to meet the EU’s requirement that 50% of all waste be recycled by 2020.

Défi chair Olivier Maingain commented this morning on his way into negotiations to form a regional government that Bruxelles-Propreté needed to be “cleaned up where necessary” and was part of a group of Brussels institutions that needed structural changes. “The situation requires an in-depth reflection on future objectives,” he said.

Photo: Nicolas Lambert/BELGA

Written by Lisa Bradshaw