Nicosia district municipalities said on Tuesday that, as of September, there will be a raise in rubbish collection fees following the closure of the Kotsiatis landfill and transfer of management of the capital’s domestic waste to the Koshi waste treatment plant in Larnaca.
The district’s mayors said in a press conference that the raise will vary in each municipality depending on the volume of rubbish each will send to the waste treatment plant, but that it cannot exceed 14 per cent per year. The maximum fee will be €250, following a parliament decision.
Recycling is the key to lower costs, the mayors said.
According to Strovolos Mayor, Andreas Papacharalambous, the increase is because the €8 per tonne municipalities have been paying so far for the collection of rubbish, its transfer and use of the Kotsiatis landfill will now rise to €43per tonne for management at the Koshi plant. The process will be coordinated and supervised by the newly-established Nicosia District Council for the Management of Domestic Waste (Oeda).
Geri Mayor, Neofytos Papalazarou, said that the extra cost should be paid by the government.
Papacharalambous also said that municipalities are looking into gradually outsourcing the transfer of rubbish to Koshi, instead of using their own crews, to reduce transfer costs and therefore fees residents have to pay.
This effort, however, he said, is being opposed by municipality workers’ unions.
Engomi Mayor, Zacharias Kyriacou, said that transfer costs from a private company could be up to 50 per cent lower compered than those of the municipality.
For a number of months, municipal dustmen all over Cyprus have been going on work stoppages to protest over the outsourcing of rubbish collection by local authorities.
The Kotsiatis landfill must closed down by October, the mayors said, following a ruling by the European Court of Justice. Cyprus will be faced with a fine of €30 million to €50 million if it fails to close the plant.
But if members of the public want lower garbage collection fees, they must begin recycling, a state official said.
According to agriculture ministry official, Haralambos Hadjipakkos, the only way households will see their garbage collection fees slashed is by reducing domestic waste by recycling and composting.
The mayors also stressed the importance of giving incentives to members of the public concerning recycling.
Aglandjia Mayor, Haralambos Petrides, said that his municipality is ready to start implementing the ‘pay as you throw’ scheme, whereby fees will be calculated according to the volume of each household’s garbage production. Funding for the scheme in question, however, he said, was frozen in 2011.
Mayor of Dali, Leondios Kallenos, said that incentives must be given to households, such as the weighing of garbage.