Berliner Stadtreinigung (BSR) has donated three discarded garbage trucks to the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv. On Monday morning, the vehicles were bid farewell in the presence of the Governing Mayor Franziska Giffey (SPD) at the BSR premises in Tempelhof. Three drivers from the BSR subsidiary Fuhrpark Business Service (FBS) are now taking the vehicles, technically known as waste collection vehicles, to the Polish-Ukrainian border and will hand them over to the colleagues from Kyiv there.
“You are now ambassadors from Berlin,” Giffey said to the three drivers, pinning brass-colored badges with the Berlin bear to their collars.
“It’s important that we send the supplies that are really needed right now,” Giffey said. Her Kiev colleague Vitali Klitschko told her during a video call last week that the Ukrainian capital urgently needed vehicles for waste disposal.
“We discussed this relatively early in the BSR and said that we would be immediately operational if help was needed,” said Wolfgang Wüllhorst, the business unit manager of the BSR fleet management, one of those with the Ukrainian flag and the hashtag
Since 2014 they have been in very close contact with the city of Kyiv and the personal advisor to the mayor of Kiev, and have therefore received a request for support. Obtaining the necessary papers and special permits for driving through Poland was not easy due to the Assumption Day holiday.
A long-standing friendship with Kyiv has developed, said BSR CEO Stephanie Otto. “It was important to us that our employees could hand over the vehicles at the border and not drive straight to Kyiv,” she explained.
The discarded refuse collection vehicles are a good ten years old and have a capacity of around eleven tons. Normally, the vehicles would be sold after their period of service via the BSR subsidiary FBS.
For the sometimes difficult work on the streets of Kiev, the refuse collection vehicles were equipped with additional tires.
In 2014, BSR donated two winter service vehicles to Kyiv. BSR boss Otto explained when asked that it was currently being checked whether more vehicles could be sent. The current challenges due to the corona crisis and energy prices should be considered. BSR may therefore have to keep vehicles in its own stock for longer than planned.
“We also received a specific request from Kyiv for support with school buses,” reported Franziska Giffey. It is currently being examined how Berlin could support this. However, more details have not yet been determined.