City officials in Oslo have been deluged with complaints during the past week about a lack of garbage collection. After the city switched collection companies, things haven’t gone smoothly.
Many Oslo residents have been met by the sight of overflowing garbage containers and garbage bags strewn around them, prompting commentators to complain that Oslo was becoming “the Naples of the north.” While collections by the new company that won the city’s latest bidding round, Veireno AS, have gone well in some neighbourhoods, they have definitely not in others.
As of Monday afternoon, the city had fielded 5,512 complaints, to be exact. In some cases, weekend garbage had not been picked up and was still piling up on Monday.
“There was more garbage collected overall last week, but there are still some customers who have not had their garbage picked up for a long time and we apologize for that in the strongest of terms,” said Pål A Sommernes, director of the city department in charge of garbage collection, Renovasjonsetaten.
He referred to the equivalent of “teething troubles” and noted that teams of collectors were working hard to respond to the complaints and clean up the mess, made worse in many cases by birds that had punched holes in plastic bags and strewn the garbage around. Jonny Enger, managing director of Veireno, said crews worked through the weekend and hauled in 378 tons of garbage. He said the company would maintain a high level of staffing and use extra garbage trucks as long as the need existed.