Forest ranger Erik de Jonge knows what it is like to find a lot of drug waste in the forest. ‘His’ Brabantse Wal is even a frontrunner with regard to the amount of waste that is discharged there. In March a drug pit was discovered in the nature reserve, it turned out to be the largest drug dumping ever. No less than 2500 cubic meters of soil became contaminated. The cleaning costs: a few million euros.
From next year, landowners will be reimbursed up to 200,000 euros to clean soil that has been contaminated by drug waste. Such an enormous amount of drug waste has been dumped in three places in Brabant that even more money is going there. In addition to Erik de Jonge’s area, a plot in Rijsbergen and a field in Neerkant will also receive more than two tons for cleaning. “The news we got yesterday is the best news I’ve ever had in fifteen years as a forester,” Erik says proudly.
“I’ve been fighting for this for years.”
In his time as a forest ranger Erik has seen the amount of drug waste grow considerably. “Where we used to have about one or two waste dumping per year, there are now dozens.” However, the number of dumping has also declined slightly in recent years. “You shouldn’t focus on numbers,” explains the ranger. “The numbers are decreasing, but the quantities are increasing. The quantity that is now dumped in one go was previously done in fifteen times.”
Over the years Erik often spoke to the media about this subject. “I have fought for this for years. The goal we have finally achieved has a long history.”
“No more uncertainty about who is responsible now.”