“Eintracht Frankfurt and the City of Frankfurt/Main are inseparable, and we will demonstrate that at the second ‘Frankfurt Cleanup’ in the city,” said Heilig, Municipal Director of Environmental Services and patron of the clean-up initiative, on Thursday 27 August at a press conference held in conjunction with representatives of Eintracht Frankfurt Fußball AG. “We are already advising our friends at Eintracht on the issues of recycling and waste avoidance in the stadium. Eintracht President Peter Fischer is also an ambassador for our ‘Mehr Frankfurt’ #cleanffm video series, where he really encourages people to dispose of waste in the right place, namely in rubbish bins. And it works – when Peter talks, people listen. Now we are going to get together with Eintracht to collect waste in the municipal forest around the Deutsche Bank Park on 18 September. I’m delighted that we have found such a committed and sports-minded partner in the form of Eintracht Frankfurt.”
“World Cleanup Day is an important demonstration across the globe to make people aware of a responsible and sustainable approach to our environment and to demand conscious action,” added Eintracht board member Axel Hellmann. “As the main tenants of the Deutsche Bank Park, it is our duty to make sure that we protect our environment in and around the stadium – in particular the general stadium area and the municipal forest – and keep it clean. The same applies to those who visit the stadium, which is why we are fully and actively committed to supporting ‘Frankfurt Cleanup Day’.”
It has long been the case that the municipal forest can end up littered with bottles, paper and other refuse, particularly before and after football matches. “A lot of fans eat and drink before they head to the stadium area, and many of them throw their waste around the stadium or in the forest. It shouldn’t be used as a dump – the forest is what helps our city to breathe. As if the forest weren’t under enough stress due to climate change, now we’re filling it with the refuse that our civilisation produces and putting it under added danger every day, with cigarette butts that poison the forest floor and can also lead to fires. Shards of glass can also do the same, as well as injuring the animals that call the forest home. Even though the matches in the stadium are currently behind closed doors and it’s clear for all to see that the levels of waste have reduced, there will still come a time when the Coronavirus is behind us, and we don’t want to start seeing empty bottles, cigarette butts and other waste back in the forest after a match,” Ms. Heilig said.
World Cleanup Day is an important demonstration across the globe to make people aware of a responsible and sustainable approach to our environment and to demand conscious action.Axel Hellmann: Eintracht board member.
People have been able to sign up for ‘Frankfurt Cleanup’ since the end of July. This year, the initiative is being held over two days, 18 and 19 September, to coincide with World Cleanup Day (WCD) which for the second year in a row is partnering with the ‘Frankfurt Cleanup’. “We’re delighted that this year, we will once again be coming together in Frankfurt to take a stand for World Cleanup Day,“ said Holger Holland, chairperson of Let‘s Do It! Germany e.V. which represents the WCD in Germany. “The problem of littering is an all-too-visible problem, even during the current pandemic. Combined with the global issue of cigarette butts, it’s a lethal cocktail. The sad fact is that cigarette filters are made out of plastic and are not bio-degradable. They may be small, but filters have a huge effect. Every cigarette butt contains more than 4,000 different types of toxins, heavy metals and other harmful chemicals which continuously end up in our drinking water. We need to come together to put a stop to littering and send out a global sign that we want a clean, healthy world free of plastic waste.”
The rubbish collection will take place across the city, in the various districts and on the banks of the Main. The main collection and launching of the initiative will take place on Friday 18 September in the Frankfurt municipal forest, while World Cleanup Day will be on the following day at the Hafenpark. As was the case with the inaugural initiative, this year’s Cleanup is being organised by the #cleanffm Frankfurt cleanliness campaign, the Municipal Parks Department and the Frankfurt waste disposal company FES.
“Make your own clean-up teams and sign up either on our platform or in person at the FES service centre at Liebfrauenberg 52-54 in the city centre,” said Benjamin Scheffler, CEO of FES. “I hope that the commitment that the people in the various districts of the city showed in pre-pandemic times will be repeated at the second Frankfurt Cleanup. Without the local residents to protect public spaces, it doesn’t matter how motivated and efficient our waste management is – it can’t do it all by its itself.”
The inaugural ‘Frankfurt Cleanup’ in 2019 was a real success with almost 1,000 people taking part across the city, and Frankfurt’s Director of Environmental Services has promised that this year will be no different. Indeed, she was delighted that the city was able to repeat the initiative in 2020, headlined by the slogan ‘Let’s get involved and clean up!’ “The Coronavirus means that we will be strictly applying the regulations regarding social distancing and wearing face masks,“ Ms. Heilig explained on Thursday, adding that it was once again vital for the initiative to take place this year. Post-lockdown in March, waste in the street, parks and recreational areas has once again multiplied, with the additional cleaning that it has required likely to cost the city almost half a million euros more than was budgeted for between now and the end of the year. “We need to get the message across to those who still haven’t understood,” Ms. Heilig said. “The Coronavirus isn’t a free pass for people to be selfish. Littering was anti-social behaviour before the lockdown and is anti-social behaviour now.”