Residents at student accommodation on Eendrachtskade, owned by Belgian company Xior, have been embroiled in a waste management issue with the municipality of Groningen as rubbish piles up outside the building.
Xior took over the building in July 2021 and turned it into a student complex. However, there are only 3 rubbish containers placed outside the building serving hundreds of students. Consequently, there is little surprise concerning the amount of rubbish building up across the paths and cycle lane.
Further down the road, there are two more rubbish containers where there is little to no mess left behind. Residents nearby have said they are unable to use the containers at the building whilst, on the other hand, the Xior residents cannot use the two containers down the road.
Mirjam Wijnja, alderman of the municipality of Groningen said, “we are aware of the problem” and then went on to say there was no malfunction of the container and that “the waste should simply have been put in”.
The municipality has offered to facilitate teaching the students at Xior to dispose of their refuse properly and has communicated with Xior as they are responsible to teach the students how to use them. Wijnja also mentioned extra rounds to empty the containers at this location saying, “we don’t have to, but we do”.
Viviana Mǎrgǎrit a student living at the building spoke of the rubbish that is left at the elevators inside the building, stating that “people on the lower floors just leave their garbage in front of the elevators” saying it had stopped for a while, but is “happening again”.
Seagulls and rats have begun feeding on the refuse spilling out, ripping bags full of rotten food, and wastage spread across the area. The bags being torn open by the wildlife has caused a smell to linger of old food wastage and has left the area looking like a landfill.
In addition to that, this situation has caused an infestation of rats, which neighbours nearby have complained about. One student is quoted as saying “one of my roommates has seen baby rats” as the rats reproduce in the building due to the lack of hygiene.
Xior’s regulations not being adhered to
Xior’s official regulations state “waste must not be left in general areas or in front of containers even when it is full”. They state later in the regulation book that “failure to comply with the regulations will result in a €50 fine”.
Although this is in their official regulations it is still a huge issue as refuse is left scattered across the area leaving locals and fellow residents of the Eendrachtskade building unhappy.
The rubbish, for now, has been cleaned up but it is yet to be seen if the changes such as regular emptying of the rubbish containers and educating the students to use them properly have worked.