All residents must to pay the same price for municipal waste management2017-05-24
As from 1 January 2017, the municipalities must calculate the residents’ charges and fees for municipal waste management under the rules uniform for the whole country. According to the most recent information, the new charges have already been approved at 47 municipalities.
“We hope that the remaining ones will follow shortly”, says Vice-Minister of Environment Mindaugas Gudas. “Back in 2013, the Law on Waste Management obligated the municipalities to calculate the municipal waste management charges in accordance with the rules approved by the Government. The requirements to calculate the new charges was postponed for the municipalities two times”.
Now a dual charge consisting of the fixed and variable parts must be applied to residents. The fixed part is meant for the maintenance and development of the waste management infrastructure (operation of collection facilities and collection sites for hazardous and bulky waste generated in households, installation, closure and remediation of landfills, etc.). The variable part depends on the volume of waste generated by residents, the management of which requires waste management services, including collection, transportation, disposal and supervision. It is this variable part that the residents can reduce by increased sorting of waste. It should be noted that a resident could be exempt from payment of the variable part if he or she declares the non-use of the immovable property for a certain period of time.
When calculating the charges for the residents, the municipalities can divide the latter into separate user categories according to the type of immovable property, including apartment blocks, individual houses, garages and garden communities. As the servicing of separate resident categories requires different costs, the municipalities can set different service prices.
The charges for residents may not include the costs of sorted and orphan waste management. In accordance with the producer responsibility principle effective in Lithuania since 2013, the responsibility for the organisation of the collection, management and funding of all product and packaging waste is borne by producers and importers. Organisations that represent their interests, in cooperation with the municipalities, must cover the costs of product and packaging waste management to prevent double payment by the residents. As provided for in the Law on Waste Management, the management of orphan waste is the duty of municipalities which have to report annually on the management of such waste and specify its volumes generated. The management of orphan waste is organised with the funds of the municipalities’ special environmental support programmes.