Dutch politicians against Italian waste arriving in Amsterdam by rail

Image: Port of Amsterdam

Various Dutch politicians took to social media to express their disapproval regarding the fact that the Netherlands will take care of household waste produced in Rome. The waste will be transported by rail between Rome-Amsterdam. Dutch criticism of this initiative came from both the right and the left-wings. Moreover, Hans-Willem Vroon, director of Dutch rail freight association RailGood shared his views on the matter with RailFreight.com.

Vroon, pointed out that the Netherlands burns tens of millions of tonnes of imported waste, mainly from the UK and Ireland, and questioned the sustainability of such practices. “The question is whether the Netherlands wants to be the ‘waste incineration plant’ in Europe, where government, authorities, and waste processing in certain European regions are failing”. Vroon added that new construction projects in the Netherlands, including for the rail, are halted due to exceeded nitrogen emissions. “We have to (re)think carefully about what does or does not help to get rid of this lockdown”, he commented. When it comes to the voice of the Dutch rail freight industry in general, Vroon underlined that “the CO2 target will not be achieved if we are not careful”. RailGood believes that the European Union and the European Commission should take charge of providing a framework and incentives for these types of activities.

The politicians’ views

Concerning the Dutch political panorama, right-wing independent Dutch Senator Henk Otten, for example, complained on Twitter with an emphatic “what in heaven’s sake are we doing?”. Otten pointed out that Dutch farmers had to stop activities due to nitrogen production being deemed too high. “Adding 900 tons of waste per week from other countries to burn here in The Netherlands is a very contra-productive step to take if we want to reduce our CO2 and Nitrogen output”, he told RailFreight.com. Moreover, Laura Bromet, a member of the leftist party GroenLinks and the Dutch House of Representatives, ironically commented on Twitter that “we meant more trains differently”.

Roman waste to be burnt in Amsterdam as of April

A new rail freight service between Rome and Amsterdam, transporting waste from Italy to the Netherlands, will start on 1 April. The deal is between AMA, the company operating garbage collection in Rome, and the Amsterdam Waste Energy Company (AEB). Transportation will be carried out by Mercitalia Rail, and the agreement will be in place for one year, entailing 900 tons being shipped every week. This would lead to a total of about 47,000 tons of waste being shipped to Amsterdam for over 9,3 million euros (200 euros per ton) that AMA will pay to AEB.

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Author: Marco Raimondi

Marco Raimondi is an editor of RailFreight.com, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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