More cleanliness - more quality of life - more Frankfurt! This is the motto of a graffiti on the Kleinmarkthalle as part of the #cleanFFM campaign, with which the city has been promoting a clean Frankfurt for some time now. But after some small progress, the garbage problem is no longer just unattractive, but downright annoying. The cityscape, but also many citizens suffer from it. One reason for this are the Corona regulations, because what do the often (but not only) young people do when the temperatures rise, they are allowed to meet again, but clubs stay closed and bars can only be visited to a limited extent? They meet in public places to celebrate. Because it's so beautiful at Opernplatz, on the banks of the Main or at Friedbergerplatz. The grotesque thing is that it is precisely these people who make such places lose their attractiveness, since only a minimal fraction of the people celebrating there also take care of the disposal of the garbage they produce. Illegally disposed bulky waste has also been increasingly causing trouble in the city over the past few months. This has certainly not only been a problem since Corona - but the pandemic has intensified it, which has had really unpleasant consequences in some places in Frankfurt on some days.
"The complaints have been accumulating in recent months - and we as a city are called upon to do something," says Lord Mayor Peter Feldmann. In the area around the train station, for example, garbage has been getting out of hand on the streets, bulky waste is piling up, and people celebrating at the opera square and other hotspots have left behind huge mountains of garbage. "The responsible staff unit, the public order office, the police and many other parties involved must pursue such contamination harder, finally cooperate better", Feldmann said about only one example of many.
The responsible department heads Rosemarie Heilig (cleanliness department) and Markus Frank (city police) presented several new measures to counteract the growing mountains of garbage. For example, as of 1 July, there will be higher fines, which can also be collected on the spot. Feldmann said: "We also need such repressive measures, but above all we need ideas that are sustainable in the long term".
"Before the corona pandemic began, I had seen us on a good path to keep our city clean in the long run. Our staff unit Clean Frankfurt, the #cleanffm campaign and the FES have been successful with their work. Then came Corona. Since then, the city has been littered like never before, although the FES has been working to the breaking point for months. We are reaching our limits with our commitment. That's why I welcome the support of Frank, the head of the city's public order department," said Heilig, the head of the environment department. "We are turning the screws, from increasing the fine to additional plain-clothes police officers, in order to react to the current situation. But a lasting change in awareness is needed. Social contacts are nice and important and are eagerly awaited by everyone after the corona-induced lockdown. But peeing wildly, littering squares and green spaces does not contribute to a sense of well-being in a social community," said City Councillor Markus Frank, who sees a connection between the current problems in public places and green spaces and the loss of other leisure activities such as concerts, cinema visits, club nights and football matches, which are caused by the need to protect against infection.
Now one would like to think that it is enough to appeal to common sense and good manners, so that everyone can take away the garbage he or she causes or at least dispose of it properly. But unfortunately the city falls on deaf ears with it. And that is why not only higher fines are now due. Feldmann has also hired the distinguished cleanliness consultant Peter Postleb. The now retired Postleb was already head of the Clean Frankfurt staff unit from 2001 to 2013, introduced a catalogue of fines, among other things, and was a proponent of closer cooperation between the city police, state police, staff unit, the FES and other players such as Deutsche Bahn. Postleb proposes a number of immediate measures, such as regulatory action days with the city police at the after-hours scene in the city centre and in central squares in the other districts. "In addition, sufficient litter bins are to be temporarily set up in large squares and on the banks of the Main River," Postleb said. "We will also start directly with several smaller measures"
It remains to be seen whether these measures will help. Action must be taken in any case, because nobody can want Frankfurt to sink into the garbage.