The municipal collection companies want to collect nitrous oxide cylinders separately in the environmental street. The nitrous oxide cylinders cause major problems with the waste because they can explode during the waste processing.
The AD writes about that. “The need is really great,” says Wendy de Wild, director of the branch association of municipal waste collectors NVRD in the NOS Radio 1 Journaal. “It’s been like that for months.”
Since January of this year, laughing gas falls under the Opium Act. As a result, it is not allowed for recycling centers to collect the illegal cylinders. But because of this illegality, the gas cylinders are left in public space or with the residual waste.
According to De Wild, consultations with national politicians on this have yielded nothing. “Our deadline was the end of August, that was yesterday. Now we’re going to solve it ourselves.”
De Wild says he does not have “the illusion” that people are now going en masse to the recycling street to bring their cylinders. “We will not be able to solve it. We do want to send a signal.”
No thought has been given to the misery this legislation was going to cause.
Before the law, waste processors hardly saw the cylinders, says De Wild. “They were returned to the suppliers after use. You then received a thirty-euro deposit back, so no one threw it away.”
Now it has become disposable packaging, says the industry association chairman. “It has gotten out of hand enormously. The numbers are dizzying.” It would be about 250,000 disposable cylinders annually.
De Wild does not have a definitive solution to the problem, she says. “As far as we are concerned, this law should never have been introduced. No thought has been given to the misery this legislation was going to cause. We have been solving that for eight months now and we can no longer keep it up.”
Proceedings against the state
De Wild does not know what kind of legal consequences the collection by the recycling centers can have. “Politically it is complicated. Because if you say to a laughing gas user ‘you are not allowed to use it, but if you have done it anyway you want to hand it in properly’, then that is a bit double.”
The collection companies are also starting a social media campaign to address the target group. In addition, proceedings against the state are being prepared. It is not yet clear what form this should take.
“We are investigating it and will come back to it shortly,” says De Wild.
Outgoing State Secretary Heijnen acknowledges that there is a problem and emphasizes that waste processors must be able to work safely: “The very best solution is that everyone adheres to the rules and does not use nitrous oxide. But it is important that those cartridges do not end up in the residual waste. Then I prefer that they be handed in with the hazardous substances. From my responsibility for the waste processors, I can well imagine that they are looking for a solution.”
- A lot of nitrous oxide has already been seized, OM will enforce from now on
- The waste sector and the police are fed up with nitrous oxide cylinders
- The Hague police find more than 1000 nitrous oxide cylinders after a tip