May 24, 2018

Dutch app helps you sort your recycling

Filed under: Sustainability,Technology by Orangemaster @ 6:34 pm

On 23 May, Dutch company Sitio IT launched the free phone app EcoScan for Android and iOS that helps you figure out in what recycling bin you need to sort things you’re throwing out.

In the Netherlands, there are bins for paper, plastic, glass and a few more that makes life complicated, and every municipality seems to have different bins as well. And you don’t want to be that person who puts an old lamp bulb in with the glass and forces someone somewhere to ‘disinfect’ your mistake. Sitio IT claim that there are 10 to 15 different bins for things, and this prompted developer Rick Buiten to comp up with an app for doing the right thing easier.

By using a photo scan, EcoScan can even tell you that you’d better bring certain things to the thrift shop, as they are not meant for any bins. Although I very much like the idea, I’m going to assume it’s still being beta tested or I’m really bad at scanning, as I’ve just tried it plastic, paper and glass, and it didn’t recognised any of them. And it’s only available in Dutch, but it’s point and click.


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June 3, 2015

Dutchman declared ‘persona non grata’ in the Philippines

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 10:07 pm


Dutchman Kees Koostra (possibly Jan Kees Koostra) who has been living in Puerto Galera, the Philippines for some time has called his new home town ‘Puerto Basura’ (roughly ‘Puerto Rubbish’) after having posted a picture of the local tourist destination White Beach with “uncollected garbage contained in black plastic bags, with worms crawling on them” on Facebook. Appealing to the local authorities to do something about it, they instead decided to black ball him for his concerns, a move that surprised locals and foreigners alike. Koostra is locally active in tourism and environment-related projects.

Since Koostra’s post, the shorelines of White Beach have been cleaned up by the municipal government. The Puerto Galera Business and Tourism Entrepreneurs Association (PGBTEA) and other groups also expressed their support for Koostra, saying the decision is unfair. “He is a law-abiding citizen and he was just expressing his constructive comments on the present state of the environment of Puerto Galera.”

Koostra has sailed around the world twice in his own yacht. “Out of the 68 countries I travelled, I chose the Philippines to live in permanently. And I chose Puerto Galera to stay,” Koostra said.


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March 26, 2015

Park in Utrecht dumps trash for team building

Filed under: General,Weird by Orangemaster @ 10:12 am


A park in Utrecht that apparently didn’t have enough trash in it had some trash added to it by the city to make sure that beer giant Inbev could have a proper team building session picking up rubbish.

Imagine being a neighbour watching city employees dump trash into a park for the sake of some company’s team building outing and busloads of white collar employees having fun picking up the trash like problem youth doing community service.

The city of Utrecht admitted it was a bad call to dump more trash in the park, although they still did. They are probably only saying this because they got caught doing it. The idea of putting trash into a park to then have it picked up again is retarded.

To make things worse Inbev claims it knew nothing about the extra trash and would not have gone through with it if they had known, which is plausible. Either way Inbev was stuck dealing with a load of rubbish. The employees, who were geared up to do a good deed, can now team build on the feeling of having been screwed over.


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May 29, 2013

Trash bags in Amsterdam get their own Facebook page

Filed under: General,Online by Orangemaster @ 10:19 am

Following the trend of protesting or trying to shed light on issues by setting up a Facebook page, a resident of Amsterdam’s De Pijp district who lives on the Van der Helstplein (Van der Helst square) has had enough of the heaps of trash accumulating there and has set up a Facebook page called Van der Helst-belt.

The square is full of restaurants and cafes, which would explain the preponderance of trash, but not why it isn’t picked up often enough or on time. The other problem is that people tend to put out their trash every day, which goes against the rules of that area.

Trash is a complicated business in Dutch cities. In Nijmegen for example, unless it has changed recently, residents pay extra money to use city-approved trash bags, which you buy at the regular store, so basically you pay for what you throw out. In places like Amsterdam, you pay a flat fee per year depending on the make-up of your household. In my co-blogger ultraposh neighbourhood it’s a Wednesday-Saturday affair, while in my lesser yet decent part of town, I can go across the street anytime and put it in one of the three underground bins.


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February 14, 2012

Travelling rubbish museum supports cleaners’ plight

Filed under: Art by Orangemaster @ 11:50 am

Street combing is cool, but then so is calling rubbish art and exhibiting it at big venues, including the city hall of Heerlen, Limburg. Starting today, visitors there can have a look all kinds of things collected by cleaners who are trying to attract attention to issues such as being paid for sick leave and getting more respect.

This travelling exhibition already seen in The Hague, Groningen and Utrecht tells stories about some 1,000 found objects such as a gold bracelet, a can of cola, a teddy bear and a syringue. The idea is that cleaners reflect our society and are indispensable, while they are not treated fairly despite the relatively well-organised Dutch labour system. Cleaners all over the country have been striking as well to get their point across.


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September 2, 2010

Handicapped woman fined for rubbish out too early

Filed under: Animals,Weird by Orangemaster @ 5:44 pm

It could be the abrupt end of summer here or something in the air, but the ‘rules are rules’ motto can sometimes goes too far and be called ‘anti-social’. Of course, you could also say it’s bad timing.

A blind and wheelchair-bound woman from Groningen was fined for throwing out her old bed in the trash too early, probably before 8 pm. She had asked a girlfriend to do it for her who obviously didn’t observe the rules. The handicapped woman plans to contest the fine.

Although different and more obviously absurd, it does remind of the driver who was accused of not running over a cat and who won his case.

Ironically, just today right over the border in Germany (in Dutch) a similar case was lost. Some man braked to avoid running over a poodle, and apparently the law applies only to braking for kids and not animals, effectively implying the man should have ran over the poodle to avoid the accident he caused.

(Link: rtvnoord)

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August 11, 2010

Golden Cockroach for dirtiest Rotterdam district

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 11:29 am

Political party Leefbaar Rotterdam plans to start a black book of the dirtiest places in Rotterdam. The scuzzy places will receive the Golden Cockroach award. Naming and shaming is apparently still considered a good way to get people to clean up their trash, but that remains to be seen — literally.

People from Rotterdam can send in pictures of oveflowing rubbish bins, rubbish on the street and whatever else fits the bill. Leefbaar Rotterdam plans to post the pics on its website. Mmm!

I snapped this rubbish bin on Queen’s Day in Amsterdam a few years back. Notice how small the rubbish bins are. Plastic and glass bottles can easily be recycled at the supermarket, but not cans. Cans here are mostly made of steel and a bit of aluminium and are fished out before the rubbish goes to the incinerator.

I can tell you that these bins fill up very quickly with beer and cola cans, especially if there’s a party going on.


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