Copenhagen turns to youth for summer clean-up act

Capital to hire 13 to 17-year-olds to help clear up rubbish

Copenhagen prides itself on being one of the cleanest cities in the world – you can even swim in the harbour – but as soon as the sun comes out in spring and summer, many people lose the ability to pick up their trash around the city parks, streets and beaches.

But now the City Municipality has had enough and vowed that this summer will be different. The politicians have approved a new proposal that will commission teenagers aged 13-17 to pick up the rubbish as part of a summer job.

“The young workers will clean the areas that are popular spots for Copenhageners to enjoy the weather and hang out in the summer, such as on the grass on Islands Brygge, the King’s Garden, Fælledparken and along the harbour,” Tommy Petersen, the head of Radikale at Copenhagen Municipality, told Berlingske newspaper.

“They are places where loads of trash is unfortunately left behind during the summer period because people just get up and leave it behind.”

READ MORE: Copenhagen looking to curb its nightlife’s noise and rubbish

Six week job
A total of 18 positions are up for grabs. Those interested can apply for the job from the end of April. For a 15-year-old, the pay will be 53 kroner per hour, while a 17-year-old will take home 72 kroner per hour.

The job will last about six weeks from the last week of June to the first week of August, as these are periods when many personnel from the municipal cleaning division are on holiday – exactly when they are most needed!

Petersen said the idea originated from a Swedish concept he stumbled upon while looking into solutions to the capital’s summer rubbish woes.