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This article was published on June 16, 2020


Danes fish out 181 bicycles, 140 e-scooters, and a dildo from city harbor

The city's mayor is asking for providers to take responsibility

Danes fish out 181 bicycles, 140 e-scooters, and a dildo from city harbor
Matthew Beedham
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Matthew Beedham

Editor, SHIFT by TNW

Matthew is the editor of SHIFT. He likes electric cars, and other things with wheels, wings, or hulls. Matthew is the editor of SHIFT. He likes electric cars, and other things with wheels, wings, or hulls.

People chucking e-scooters in rivers and harbors is nothing new, but Copenhagen seems to be the latest victim of this trend. The mayor of the city is now asking e-scooter companies to take responsibility after more than 100 of them were found discarded in the city’s harbor.

As part of the city’s annual two-week harbor cleanup, divers fished out more than 140 e-scooters, 180 bicycles, 47 café chairs, mobile phones, a ladder, an advertising hoarding, and a dildo, Danish outlet CPH Post reports.

Frank Jensen, mayor of Copenhagen, has taken a particular disliking to the findings and is asking that owners of scooters must take responsibility when they rent them out.

[Read: Demand for scooters trebles as Brits look to avoid public transport]

It’s not entirely clear if he’s saying individual users or the rental companies should take responsibility. However, given that the scooters can be moved without them being rented, it seems like the operators need to step in to prevent scooters from ending up in the drink.

Not only is it bad for the environment, it’s a public health hazard, as many locals enjoy swimming in the harbor in summer, he told Danish television in an interview.

This is a significant increase over previous years. During 2019’s harbor cleanup, divers found just 10 electric scooters. However, it should be noted that the city only started allowing the mobility services to operate from January 2019.

In June 2019, Copenhagen limited the number of e-scooters and electric rental bikes in the city to 200 of each type. One scooter operator in the city says it has designated areas in the harbor to park them, and it is employing people to retrieve them when they do end up in the water.

Copenhagen is far from the first city to experience issues with non-buoyant free-floating e-scooter rental services.

Despite being keen to embrace shared e-scooter services, Paris found that its locals didn’t really take to them. After the city’s first year with the mobility tech, it decided to scale back as dozens of scooters were getting thrown into the River Seine every day.

It’s still unclear how the scooters ended up in Copenhagen‘s harbor, but hopefully the city can work with providers to find a way to stop it happening in the future. As for the dildo, CPH Post reports that how it ended up in the harbor remains a mystery.

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