New tools in fight against litter

Community service handed down for littering in Erbil

ERBIL — A driver caught littering from their vehicle on March 25 has been ordered by Erbil Municipality to work for three days with street workers in the Erbil market area, a new tactic to penalize environmental offenses and promote awareness of the importance of conservation efforts.

Kharzan Abdulhadi, Erbil Municipality’s head, told 964media, “This is the first instance of such a penalty being levied against a driver. We aim to educate both the individual and the public on the importance of protecting our environment and to underscore that such actions are not tolerated. We believe this approach to be more impactful than a monetary fine.”

The enforcement of this penalty included the impoundment of the vehicle by Erbil traffic police until the driver finishes the required service days. Abdulhadi stated the vehicle will remain impounded until the fulfillment of the sentence. The driver, however, has shown a readiness to comply with and complete the punishment, according to Abdulhadi.

The vehicle was seized by Erbil Traffic Police on March 26, 2024, following its involvement in a littering offense on a public road.

Community service as punishment is part of the municipality’s wider campaign to reduce environmental pollution and foster community engagement in keeping public areas clean. The Kurdistan Region faces a massive littering and waste dumping problem that blights urban areas, waterways, and rural countrysides.