Toon van Wijnen, the well-known voluntary garbage collector from Santpoort-Noord, is obliged to sit at home. It turns out that he does not have the required driver’s license for the electric garbage truck with which he helps to keep his environment clean and is therefore uninsured. Toon has to take a theory exam to get hold of the paper, but sees that as a futile mission. “About a dozen TIAs affected my short-term memory. I’m never going to pass that exam.”
Toon cried with happiness when he was surprised with a brand new pick-up† It was the result of a successful fundraising campaign by people who cared about the fate of the volunteer garbage collector. They had saw the report at NH Nieuws in which he told that his work was his passion and his life but had to stop because his old garbage truck was about to collapse.
Toon’s tragedy was good for 10,000 euros. Supplemented with money from local entrepreneurs and a contribution from the importer of the car, he became the proud owner of an electric pick-up. Everyone is happy: Toon because he could continue to do his job (“A big outlet for me”) and the people in Santpoort-Noord and the surrounding area because of Toon’s contribution to a cleaner street.
But now it has become clear that the Rijksdienst Wegverkeer (RDW) considers the collection vehicle to be an agricultural and forest tractor, for which Toon’s scooter driver’s license is not sufficient.
Toon: “It is slightly heavier than my previous car. Unfortunately, that has major consequences. I need a so-called T driving license, otherwise I won’t get it insured. Moreover, I would have to register with the Chamber of Commerce. Well, So I don’t feel like that at all. I don’t have a company anyway, I’m just a volunteer who likes to keep things clean in the neighborhood.”
Whatsapps with photographed litter
And so he sits at home and as if that wasn’t painful enough, he sees from the living room in front of the door the car with which he would like to go on the road. Stronger, which he feels he should be on the road with.
He gets whatsapps every day from people in the neighborhood who have photographed litter. Toon shows on his phone a picture of piled up kitchen cupboards and empty boxes by the side of the road. “Normally I would have picked it up, but it’s left there now. Sad isn’t it?”
Sometimes the clean-up rage beats his bourgeois goodness. Then he gets into his electric cart to load a mountain of litter and deliver it to the waste processing facility.
“I then drive very carefully. But my heart is racing terribly, because it keeps haunting my head: suppose I have an accident. Even if it is not my fault, I still have to pay for the costs. With that feeling you can I have a hard life.”
A lot of money raised for Ukraine
He misses contact with people, the free feeling of whizzing silently over dune roads, just being busy and getting a pat on the back.
“People put everything on the side of the road, sometimes very useful things. I make sure that they get a good destination again. I have already collected a lot for Ukraine. I miss those kinds of things very much. I’m here quite a bit of it and really hoping for a solution so i can get back to doing what i love most soon.I know the importer who supplied the car is working for me, but will it pay off?I can only hope. “
Generous giver Severs: “I’m not going to let it go.”
Alex Severs of the company Seval E Cargo was one of the generous donors who made the purchase of Toon’s new car possible last year. Thanks to a discount of 5,000 euros on the purchase price, Toon became the proud owner of an electric pick-up. Severs says that he has had ‘intensive email contact’ with the municipality of Velsen and the Central Bureau for Driving Licenses (CBR) to resolve the issue.
“I had hoped that the CBR would tolerate Toon continuing to drive the car. But they don’t want it. They have only promised that they want to accompany him on the way to the exam. But that did not help him. Because this car is something is heavier than his previous one, Toon has to take an exam to get his driver’s license, which he is simply not going to pass.”
Severs finds it ‘very annoying’ that Toon can no longer do his job after the successful fundraising campaign. “No one had taken into account that he did not have the tractor driving license required for this car. In order to do his job well, he needed a slightly heavier car. Very annoying that he can’t do anything with it now. I would like to meet him by to exchange the car for a lighter type that he is allowed to drive, but he does not want to because he can hardly transport freight with it. It is an unpleasant situation. But I will not let it go. I am still plan to make it happen.”