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Berlin Wall park entrance fee mulled for rubbish

The Local · 13 Jun 2012, 12:55

Published: 13 Jun 2012 12:55 GMT+02:00

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The Mauerpark was created shortly after the Wall fell in 1989 and runs along a section of the former death strip in central northern Berlin. Over recent years it has become a tourist magnet, filled with people from around the world as well as some locals.

Warm weekends are particularly busy, with up to 50,000 people turning the narrow strip of land into something more like a festival site than a park, with bands playing, a popular public karaoke session and a sprawling flea market.

But with this this popularity comes a huge litter problem, as despite the installation of bins with massive underground storage capacity, a huge amount of rubbish is simply left on the ground.

The district authority responsible expects to spend more than €100,000 on clearing up the litter this year – and in times of cuts and savings, this is becoming a problem, the Berliner Zeitung reported on Wednesday.

“What is there to say against [the idea]?” asked Roland Schröder, Social Democratic Party city development spokesman for the city.

“No-one would be forced to pay,” said head of the district Christian Democratic Party Johannes Kraft.

But the idea to install pay machines for visitors in order to raise at least some of the money needed to keep the park clear of rubbish has come up against strong opposition.

Members of the association “Friends of the Mauerpark” reject it. “The problem will not be solved in this way,” said the group’s chairman Alexander Puell. He said the authorities should simply spend more on maintaining the parks.

Story continues below…

“A park entrance fee would be a further step towards privatising public spaces,” he told the Berliner Zeitung.

The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

13:43 June 13, 2012 by Alfa166
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
13:59 June 13, 2012 by Karl_Berlin
I used to walk my dog there during the winter, but with the good weather come the crowds. And despite the LOADS AND LOADS of bins and skips placed at regular intervals throughout the park, the place looks like an actually rubbish site come Sunday and Monday morning. What amazes me most is the amount of smashed bottles.

Having said that, this article is little more than a "look after your own park or we'll charge you to use it" warning.

In response to the first poster: thanks for your insightful comments.
14:01 June 13, 2012 by William Thirteen
have you actually been to the Mauerpark Sunday afternoon Alfa166 or are you just talking out of your neck? The overwhelming majority of people in the park are young expats and tourists.
15:13 June 13, 2012 by raandy
All the trash receptacles are not solving the problem, and people that use the park seem unconcerned about leaving litter and broken glass,what is the solution?

I doubt a volunteer collection machine will survice.

The answer to the problem is not what these folks will be happy with,more regulation, fees and possible enforcement and yet they are the enablers of the only solution.
08:36 June 14, 2012 by hankeat
What I know is some bottles are smashed by bottle collectors, especially those no deposit bottles, to avoid they will pick them up again and then realize that they can't get any money from them.
10:20 June 16, 2012 by euan.dykes
Simple solution: Pass a law that allows historical sites and parks to be alcohol free, out of respect of those who died there. This then stops all the recreational drinkers from going there and make the mess in the first place.
16:13 June 22, 2012 by Kladow Blue
And it was always so deserted and clean before 1989
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