Waste Collection Bills to Skyrocket?

Total Croatia News

In Rijeka, the bills are already more than 100 percent higher.

At the beginning of this month, citizens of Rijeka received bills for waste collection which were higher by 109 percent. The average cost of garbage collection for households increased from 33.73 kunas to 70.13 kunas. According to the municipal utility company Čistoća, the price increase was a consequence of the fact that they began to dispose the waste at the Waste Management Centre Marišćina, which brings far higher costs than so far. These new costs amount to 470 kunas per ton of waste. Similarly high waste collection bills could soon be received by citizens of other towns in Croatia as well, reports Večernji List on October 14, 2017.

The Regulation on Municipal Waste Management will come into effect on 1 November. It stipulates that municipal waste must be collected separately and charged by quantity. In front of each house and building, there should be three separate containers – for mixed, biodegradable and recyclable waste. In buildings with multiple apartments, each user’s share will be determined by the number of household members.

“This new calculation covers the real costs of collecting and developing the infrastructure for separate collection, which is imposed by the circular economy principle. Municipalities and towns will have to meet these two conditions, which will necessarily lead to price increases,” explained Aleksandra Anić Vučinić, president of the Croatian Waste Management Association (HUGO).

She noted that the current way of calculating the price often did not take into account the actual costs. Towns, municipalities and their utility companies will have to build recycling centres and buy containers for separate collection, which has to be paid somehow. Local government units will have a deadline of six months from the entry into force of the regulation to make a decision on how to provide public services for the collection of mixed and biodegradable municipal waste, which will include the criteria for calculating waste management costs.

Since public services costs are always a sensitive political issue, many town and municipal leaders will undoubtedly hesitate in making decisions that will mean more expensive garbage collection for their citizens. Therefore, it is possible that some towns and municipalities will decide to subsidise their utility companies so as not to increase waste collection costs for the citizens. However, since any such subsidies would be covered by local taxes anyway, citizens will have to pay more one way or another.

Osijek’s municipal utility company Unicom says that, with the entry into force of the regulation, the price of waste disposal services will increase for those citizens who do not separate waste at its place of origin. The company also says that, from 1 October, the town of Osijek is the only one of the four largest Croatian towns to enable all users to separate all the required types of waste (paper, plastic, glass, metal, bulk) in their homes.

According to the Zagreb’s utility company Čistoća, the average cost of collecting one ton of mixed municipal waste is 1,003 kunas, while the average price for processing one ton of mixed communal waste amounts to 322 kunas.

Croatia currently deposits up to 80 percent of its municipal waste at landfills, with only 24 percent being collected separately. The goal is to separate 50 percent of municipal waste by 2020.

Translated from Večernji List.


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