Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Poland dumps old garbage system for greener setup

Terra Daily via AFP: With too many people chucking their garbage into neighbours' bins -- or worse, the woods -- to avoid paying for disposal, Poland has taken on a massive overhaul of its laissez-faire waste management system. The new greener setup, which enters into force in July, will lower the incentive to litter by requiring everyone to pay a municipal disposal tax for a service that up to now has been left up to each household to coordinate.

While Poland has a long way to go to catch up to green superstars like Austria or Germany -- which recycle or compost over 60 percent of their rubbish -- the new system should help bring Warsaw into line with EU norms. "It will be revolutionary," says Tadeusz Arkit, head of a parliamentary commission in charge of waste management for the EU member of 38 million people.

Present laws leave it up to each household and business to sign a contract with one of the many garbage collection companies, but the model has proven difficult to implement and oversee. The system is "fair in theory" because everyone pays for his own share, Arkit told AFP. "But it's not effective since there are many people who, to avoid paying, dump their trash into others' garbage bins or toss it outdoors."

Last year, the European Commission rapped Poland and 11 other eastern and southern EU members for lagging on the environmental front....

A garbabe can in Brynow, Poland, shot by Piotrus, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license 

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