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Bursík: Recycling will save money

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Prague – The current maximum fee of CZK 500 for annual garbage pick up will soon increase. Anyone trying to save money will do well to start recycling more.

Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek wanted to propose this radical change at the cabinet’s Monday meeting. The amemndent to a law about local fees he is proposing would raise the fee from CZK 500 to CZK 1,250 a year. Municipalities are already finding that the CZK 500 fee per person is insufficient to cover garbage pick up expenses.

But Environment Minster Martin Bursík is proposing a different model and doesn’t want to see the flat annual fee increased.

“I believe that the cabinet will approve it,” says Bursík, who wants people to pay at a maximum CZK 1,000 a year.

If you recycle, you will save money

The CZK 1,000 would be composed of two parts. The first would be a fixed fee of CZK 250, the second part would a flexible amount that would depend on how people recycle.

“If you recycle, you will save money,” says Bursík. The more plastic bottles or old newspapers people sort, the less garbage thre will be in garbage containers, so it will not need to be emptied so often.

The proposed amendment to the law about wast also counts on municipalities enabling people to recycle metal, drink containers and compost, besides the usual plastics, glass and paper.

“If people recycle, we can reduce waste to a minimum,” says Bursík.

Could this lead to illegal dumps?

But isn’t there a risk that town halls will charge everyone the maximum fee of CZK 1,000 regardless of whether or not they recycle?

The Environment Ministry says this can be avoided if town halls are required to explain all garbage pick up payments and to list all the garbage pick up costs.

The ministry also doesn’t worry that some people would start setting up illegal dumping sites. Zdeňka Bubeníková from the ministry’s waste department says people today are much more ecologically minded. “The situation has improved a great deal over the last 10 years,” she says.

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