Copenhagen weighs ‘rubbish deposit’ plan

Anyone who’s spent time in a Copenhagen park in the summer knows that the city has a bit of a rubbish problem.

Copenhagen weighs 'rubbish deposit' plan
City officials say that a deposit scheme would cut down on the amount of rubbish. Photo: Sandra Høj
Overfilled bins and items left carelessly behind are a blight on the Danish capital’s otherwise ‘green’ image. 
Following a successful programme that saw ‘deposit shelves’ on rubbish cans cut down lost deposit by up to 49 percent, Copenhagen officials hope that additional financial motivation can further clean up the city. 
The City of Copenhagen is debating a trial programme in which items like pizza boxes, cigarette butts and fast food packaging would be sold with a refundable deposit. The basic idea is that consumers would pay an extra couple kroner for their packaging and they, or others who come to pick it up, could get the money back at the point of purchase. 
City officials said the programme could serve the dual purpose of cleaning up Copenhagen and saving money. 
“We use over 200 million kroner on keeping Copenhagen clean each year. If we can bring down the amount of rubbish out there it would mean that we could free up the money for something more fun than cleaning,” the city’s deputy mayor for environmental affairs, Morten Kabell, told Politiken. 
While city workers collect mounds of rubbish left behind by revellers, there are very few cans and bottles amongst the mess as those are swooped up for their deposit. The city figures that putting a deposit on other items would similarly cut down on their volume. 
“We want to expand it [deposit, ed.] so that includes pizza boxes, cigarette butts and other forms of trash that we do battle with. That’s what we are thinking and now we need to figure out just how it can be done,” Jon Pape, the head of the city’s technical and environmental affairs department, told broadcaster DR. 
The rubbish deposit plan will first have to be approved by the Ministry of the Interior and then city officials will work on the particulars. 

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