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The Warsaw Voice » Law » October 27, 2011
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Aiming to Create a Recycling Society
October 27, 2011   
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On July 1, 2011 an amendment to the act on maintaining cleanliness and tidiness in communes, and to other acts was introduced (Journal of Laws No. 152, item 897). The act comes into force on Jan. 1, 2012 and it gives the commune control of municipal waste produced by its inhabitants. This amendment brings about a change in the whole system of processing municipal waste in Poland, and consequently impacts all bodies involved in processing municipal waste.

“Waste fee” and its consequences

Commune authorities will be obliged to organize the collection of municipal waste from the owners of inhabited property. Waste collection from commune inhabitants will be put out to tender. The costs of waste collection and the costs of managing the whole system of waste collection will be covered by a fee for processing the waste charged to each inhabitant (“waste fee”). The payment term, frequency and method will be determined by the commune council under a local resolution. Moreover, the commune council will pass a resolution on the method of establishing the fee and its amount, taking into account the number of inhabitants of a given property, the amount of used water and the size of the residential premises. The commune will obtain the data necessary for establishing the due waste fee from the owners of the property who are legally obliged to submit a declaration. The waste fee will be collected in a manner specified in tax regulations. However, the aforesaid system will apply only to the owners of inhabited property (the commune inhabitants). The commune council may adopt a local resolution on collecting municipal waste also from the owners of uninhabited property where the municipal waste is produced (i.e. from entrepreneurs).

Selective waste collection

The new system of waste processing aims to promote selective waste collection, primarily in places where the waste is generated. Communes are obliged to enforce selective waste collection of at least the following waste types: paper, metal, plastic, glass, multi-material packaging and biodegradable waste. This may create a serious problem, as it will be difficult to collect so many types of waste separately, in particular kitchen waste from small apartments. The act includes an indirect answer to this problem. If you do not want or cannot collect the waste selectively, your waste fee will be higher. The amendment to the act aims at creating a society involved in recycling. We hope that thanks to the new solutions in Poland this aim will be achieved.

Anna Specht-Schampera Partner in the Schampera, Dubis, Zaj±c i Wspólnicy law firm
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