Cyprus Mail

Public objects to rubbish collection fee increases

Consumers and businesses expressed their objections on Friday to raises in rubbish collection fees announced by the Nicosia district’s mayors due to new, more expensive arrangements for the management of the capital’s waste.

The Cyprus consumers union and quality of life association and the small shopkeepers’ association Povek, said on Friday they object to any raise in fees, calling for alternative solutions such as ‘pay as you throw’ schemes. Povek also called for no fee raises for business establishments.

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 raise will vary in each municipality depending on the volume of rubbish each will send to the waste treatment plant, but it cannot exceed 14 per cent per year. The maximum fee will be €250, following a parliament decision.

The consumers union said it has received numerous calls since from Nicosia residents voicing their opposition to the new development.

“Many wondered what happened to the much-advertised ‘pay as you throw’ [scheme]?” the group said.

It added that those complaining said they have been recycling extensively and have repeatedly asked their municipalities, also in writing, to send the rubbish trucks twice per month instead of twice per week.

“This move would have brought about great savings to municipalities but, of course, there weren’t any positive results because no municipality cared enough to look into the matter,” it said.

Most consumers, it said are angry with the mayors because they chose the easy way of transferring raises deriving from mistakes, negligence or heavy taxation, onto citizens.

They also said that none of the mayors on Tuesday dared to point out that they could give incentives to consumers ‘for a more rational and just distribution of fees and raises’.

Povek appealed to the local authorities not to increase rubbish collection fees of business establishments, as the amended law on local government provides for fees up to €854.

Thousands of small, family businesses have yet to recover from the negative impact of the economic crisis, the association said, while many businesses, on top of the municipal rubbish collection fees, are burdened with significant costs from the management of their waste by private companies.

Povek also proposed other measures for the reduction of waste but also ways of reducing waste management costs.

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