Penalties await those who don’t separate their waste.
The separate collecting of waste and the charging of waste collection services by amount have become mandatory throughout Croatia on Wednesday when the Decree on the Management of Municipal Waste came into effect. Local self-government units now have three months to decide on how to provide public services for the collection of mixed and biodegradable municipal waste. So far, no town or municipality has made any such decision, reports Večernji List on November 2, 2017.
The Ministry of Environmental Protection and Energy says that the decree explicitly stipulates the obligations of local self-government units and the deadlines for their execution and that fines are prescribed by the Law on Sustainable Waste Management. According to those provisions, a town or municipality which does not comply with the decree will be fined with between 100,000 and 800,000 kunas, while town and municipal mayors will personally pay between 30,000 and 70,000 kunas. When town and municipalities announce decisions on payment of garbage collecting services by volume and enable citizens to collect waste separately, they will also announce penalties for those individuals who will not respect the new system.
Each local self-government unit will determine these penalties for citizens, which could be rather high if they follow the example of other towns in Europe. For instance, in Ljubljana, the penalty for anyone who does not participate in the garbage collection system is 800 euros. The same amount is paid by those who improperly collect municipal waste and improperly dispose of hazardous waste.
The penalty for illegal disposal of waste is also 800 euros. If someone makes it impossible for a truck to reach a dumpster, they pay a 200 euro penalty, and if they do not clean the snow from a dumpster, the penalty is 40 euros. One who mixes biodegradable waste with other kinds of municipal waste will pay 200 euros in fines. Disposing garbage outside of a dumpster in Ljubljana is also very expensive – there is a fine of 800 euros.
But, apart from the fines for citizens, municipalities and towns, penalties for the garbage collection could also be paid by the state itself, if it does not fulfil waste management obligations which it has accepted by entering the European Union. And it is very likely that it will not be able to meet them on time.
For example, 50 percent of municipal waste must be prepared for re-treatment and recycling by 2020, but Croatia is currently at 18 percent. Therefore, it is almost certain that Croatia will follow those countries which have been forced to pay penalties by the EU Court of Justice. For example, due to improper storage and destruction of waste, Italy was fined with 40 million euros initially, plus 42.8 million euros every six months until it fulfils its obligations. Poland is paying 67,314 euros a day for failing to comply with its waste disposal obligations.
Translated from Večernji List.