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Junk Act. Garbage charge depends on water. The Senate is against setting a maximum fee

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The Senate spoke out against setting a maximum waste charge for the “water” method. Senators also do not agree that local governments should be able to subsidize the waste system with income that does not come from waste fees.

97 senators voted in favor of adopting the resolution along with the amendments, none of them was against or abstained from voting. Now the so-called the amendment to the junk act, i.e. the act on maintaining cleanliness and order in municipalities, the act – environmental protection law and the act on waste, will be discussed again by the Sejm.


Maximum fee for rubbish – 30 Senate amendments

The Senate proposed a total of over 30 amendments to the amendment. One of them concerned the removal of the provisions of the amendment establishing the maximum rate for waste that the commune will be able to impose on residents when choosing the method of used water. According to the regulations adopted by the Sejm, the fee for the “water” method could not be higher than 7.8 percent. average monthly disposable income per person in total per household (i.e. approx. PLN 150).

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The ministry did not hide that the setting of this rate was a consequence of large increases that occurred in Warsaw. Some senators and local government officials argued, however, that setting the maximum rate would have negative effects on budgets, including in tourist destinations where a lot of tourists come. They also drew attention to, for example, short-term rental, where there is a large rotation of landlords.

The Senate also wants to remove the regulations enabling municipalities to cover part of the costs of the waste system from their own income, which does not come from waste fees. Both senators and local governments argued that such a solution would be possible if the system was tight, and this is not the case now. This, in turn, would mean that municipalities would now pay extra to residents who simply do not pay for rubbish.

The Senate’s support was also gained by the amendment increasing the flat rate of the rubbish fee in the case of summer houses. After the changes, it should not be higher than 20 percent. average monthly disposable income per person in total for a year per cottage (previously it was not more than 10%).

The Senate also proposed to increase the maximum level of garbage fees collected from uninhabited properties and where municipal waste is generated. After the change, it will be 2.6 percent. average monthly disposable income per person in total per bag, and not – as is provided in the Act – 1.3%.

Another of the amendments supported by the upper house of parliament will also reduce the number of conditions under which the minister responsible for climate will be able to allow the commune to partially derogate from the selective collection of selected fractions of waste. The Ministry of Climate and Environment explained that the derogation from the five-container waste collection is to take place only in exceptional circumstances. The point is not to dismantle the country’s separate waste collection system.

Amendment of the act – main goals

The main purpose of the amendment is to reduce the costs of waste management in municipalities.

The amendment contains provisions to ensure that municipalities, in the first place, are to prepare for re-use and recycling waste collected selectively and waste generated in the sorting process. According to the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, such a solution should result in less rubbish going to landfills, which in turn will also reduce costs for municipalities.

In addition, the new regulations will extend the possibility of storing certain waste from one to three years, which is also intended to reduce the costs of operating the system.

The act will also allow the owners of uninhabited real estate to exclude themselves from the communal system.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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