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Vienna fines increase for dog fouling and fag butt litter

Fines for throwing cigarette butts on the street and not cleaning up after your dog are set to increase in Vienna from March 3rd.

Vienna fines increase for dog fouling and fag butt litter
A poster campaign against dog fouling. Photo: Stadt Wien

A staggering 36 million bags of dog poo are deposited annually in Vienna’s rubbish bins, along with 100 million cigarette butts. The fines for not clearing up dog poo and butts are now set to increase from €36 to €50. In cases of gross misconduct, the fine can be up to €90.

Discarded cigarette butts (mainly the filter) are a form of non-biodegradable litter. Cigarette filters are the single most collected item each year in international beach cleanups.

A quick street survey by the Kurier newspaper in the 19th district revealed that most people were not opposed to higher fines, although some said €90 seemed “a bit steep”. Dog owners were pleased that cigarette butt litterers would receive an equally high penalty, pointing out that some dogs even eat the butts which can be poisonous.

Vienna’s Councillor for the Environment, Ulli Sima (SPÖ), said that the maximum penalty of €90 will only be handed out in exceptional cases. “There is a margin of discretion, for example, someone who empties a full ashtray out of their car window onto the street could be given the higher fine”.

The opposition ÖVP criticised the move, saying it was just to “plump up” the city coffers. The FPÖ said that in principle it isn’t opposed but that the extra revenue from the fines should be used to improve lighting and infrastructure in dog walking zones, so that dog walkers can feel safe at night.

ENERGY

Energy costs: Vienna to support 200,000 households with up to €500

The City of Vienna is expanding its group of homes that can receive an energy cost voucher by the end of the year. Here's what you need to know.

Energy costs: Vienna to support 200,000 households with up to €500

Austria’s capital Vienna is expanding a program to subsidise part of the energy bills of around 200,000 eligible households, the City said in a press release.

“Energy costs are difficult for many Viennese to cope with in the current situation. We are helping those who need the support most urgently – and we are doing so in a targeted manner by settling outstanding bills with energy providers”, City Councillor for Social Affairs Peter Hacker said.

The City has already agreed with state-run energy company Wien Energie that, from December 2022 to February 2023, no electricity, gas or heat shutdowns will happen – regardless of any payment issues.

READ ALSO: From lighting to ice skating: How Vienna plans to save energy

Now, a group of more vulnerable people can apply for Energy Support Plus to get up to €500 in aid with their energy bills.

The following people can apply online at wien.gv.at for Energy Support Plus: Recipients of Vienna minimum income (Bezieher*innen von Wiener Mindestsicherung), housing assistance (Wohnbeihilfe), AIVG benefits (AIVGLeistungen), a compensatory or supplementary allowance (einer Ausgleichs- oder Ergänzungszulage), GIS-exempt persons and low-income earners (GIS-Befreite und Geringverdienende) who are covered by the cost cap of the Renewable Expansion Act, those entitled to sickness benefit (Krankengeld), rehabilitation benefit (Rehabilitationsgeld), reintegration benefit (Wiedereingliederungsgeld) or transitional allowance (Übergangsgeld).

READ MORE: EXPLAINED: How to keep energy bills down in Austria

Applications can be submitted until December 31st, 2022. The maximum subsidy amount is €500 per household.

The service telephone of the Department for Social Affairs, Social and Health Law, is available at 01/4000-8040 for information and assistance with applications. Wien Energie’s customer service also offers personal assistance with the application process at Spittelau.

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