City and municipal utilities continue campaign against littering with running pile of rubbish
It is an expensive business to keep Offenbach clean every day. Cleaning up is not the real problem for the street cleaners at Stadtwerke Offenbach. Difficulties are caused by people who carelessly throw handkerchiefs, masks, coffee mugs and packaging on the ground, in green spaces and in gutters. That’s why the city’s public order office and the public utilities started the joint campaign “Respect Offenbach” at the end of last year, which also works with unconventional means. To this end, people disguised as rubbish walk through the public space, drawing attention to a special fraction of rubbish. Kippi, the poisonous cigarette butt, started things off. Its successor is now in the starting blocks: Mülli is the running heap of small waste of all kinds. It will make its first appearance on September 21 at the closing event of the anniversary year of the “Clean Hessen” campaign in Offenbach’s weather park.
“Last year we already increased the fines for administrative offenses such as the illegal dumping of small waste,” says the head of the regulatory department, Paul-Gerhard Weiß. “But the people of Offenbach should also be made aware of how much quality of life is lost in a city full of rubbish and realize that they have to help keep their surroundings clean. With the original garbage costume, we want to generate more attention for the topic.”
Frustrating work for street sweepers
Martin Wilhelm, Treasurer and head of department responsible for the city service, points out the often frustrating work of the street sweepers: “The employees are hardly finished with a street or the pedestrian zone in the city center with sweeper and broom, then there are other packaging or the particularly unhygienic used masks on the floor.” The head of department pointed out that, for example, on the banks of the Main, waste must be cleared away seven days a week, and even twice a day in the city center in order to maintain the leisure value for the citizens there. “This is a not inconsiderable cost factor. There are enough waste bins installed there that enable passers-by to dispose of their waste in a legal and correct manner,” says Wilhelm.
Like its predecessor Kippi, the Mülli costume is intended to be worn by people in busy places or at events in the city area and to generate attention for the topic of littering from afar. “The costume is again very successful and a real eye-catcher,” says Christian Loose, deputy head of ESO’s own operations in the city of Offenbach. “With this, too, we want to point out as part of the ‘Respect Offenbach’ campaign how disrespectful it is to restrict the quality of life in public spaces by carelessly throwing away small rubbish.”
Mülli will distribute small gifts to passers-by and will advertise that small waste should be disposed of in the 1750 waste bins in the city area along the way. With so much persuasion, it really shouldn’t happen anymore that waste ends up on the floor. If so, it can get expensive. Because the city police, which is subordinate to the public order office, is paying more attention to garbage sinners with the new twist in the campaign.
“It can cost up to 250 euros if handkerchiefs, pieces of paper, masks, leftovers, paper cups and the like are thrown on the floor,” says Frank Weber, head of the Offenbach public order office. “These items are formally listed in our catalog of fines and warnings as ‘items of insignificant nature’. In large numbers, however, they are a nuisance for the entire city society and therefore also justify the penalties.”
After Mülli, the campaign will be continued with other topics. Dog poo will be an issue next year. A costume is already in the works.
Anyone who would like to see Kippi and Mülli in action will have the opportunity to do so at the family festival marking the 20th anniversary of the “Clean Hessen” campaign on Wednesday, September 21, at 11 a.m. in the Offenbach Weather Park. The organizer is the Hessian Ministry of the Environment.
More information about the campaign at www.offenbach.de/respect.
(Text: PM City of Offenbach)