Grofvuil: what to do with it?

So you have just bought a new fridge, couch, table, whatever. And now the question is what to do with the old one. I heard a good definition of grofvuil the other day: it is anything that doesn’t fit into a garbage bag. So this includes furniture, white goods, building construction material, anything that’s too big for a garbage bag.

Amsterdam City Council is apparently one of the few councils in the Netherlands that will remove grofvuil at no cost. The only thing that they ask is that residents ring the council and arrange for it to be picked up. It is a simple phone call (020-551 9555). They will tell you when to place your fridge etc outside to be picked up.

This sounds easy doesn’t it? But it’s surprising how many people don’t make that simple phone call. Instead they just dump their grofvuil on the street in the expectation that magically it will be taken away. Unfortunately it doesn’t work quite like that. Someone, usually an irritated neighbour, has to ring the council, and then maybe with a bit of luck within a few days it gets picked up. In the meantime the item in question will attract rubbish, making the whole place look very untidy. The whole process goes a lot more smoothly if you take the effort to contact the council first and take out the furniture (whatever) on the specified day.

Grofvuil should not be placed willy-nilly with the normal household rubbish. Another snippet of information that I heard is that the council is heavily fined if they try to take “incorrect” rubbish to the processing plant. The fine is in the order of thousands of euros. That’s good tax money that could be put to better use!

We also learnt that the council will not pick up grofvuil that is placed too close to a building. A large mechanical arm is used and it seems that too many buildings have been damaged in the past. So please place your grofvuil along the Warmoesstraat (and not in the side streets!), not too close to any buildings.

Please take the effort! Ring Grofvuil (020-551 9555). Put the offending bit of grofvuil out on the correct day and no earlier. Thank you!

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