Is service charge on garbage collection fair?

Neha Basudkar
Monday, 23 July 2018

The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) will be starting a pilot project on the lines of Indore city wherein service charge is collected from each household and commercial establishment for garbage collection.

Pune: The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) will be starting a pilot project on the lines of Indore city wherein service charge is collected from each household and commercial establishment for garbage collection. Sakal Times spoke to a solid waste management expert, authorised person from SWaCH, a rag picker from SWaCH and residents’ associations to take their view on the pilot project. 

“SWaCH has reached almost 50 per cent of the properties in the city and people are supportive. The rest 50 per cent needs to be covered. Also, in 2016 Solid Waste Management Rules it has been specified that service charge should be taken from each household and commercial establishment for garbage collection, so it is legal. Also, the sanitation tax taken from every household is used for secondary cleanings like nalas and roads cleaning.
— Kishori Gadre, 
City activist of solid waste management

“As per the MoU signed in January 2016 between the PMC and SWaCH, informal waste-pickers are deployed to collect daily solid waste from citizens. Citizens are supposed to pay user fees directly to waste-pickers on a monthly basis and waste-pickers are entitled to retain the recyclables sorted from daily waste. We are currently covering 6.2 lakh of properties all over the city. People are currently cooperating with us and paying the user fee.
— Harshad Barde, 
Board Member at SWaCH

PMC is taking a remarkable initiative and I have read about a similar initiative of collection of door-to-door garbage in Indore by charging a user fee. But if the PMC is charging double as sanitation tax is already been collected from the PMC, then it will be wrong. Either PMC will have to waive the sanitation tax or not collect user fees while collecting garbage.

— Nitin Kumar, President of  Wagholi Housing 
Society Association 

“Under the Public Health and Sanitation Bye-laws 2017, every household is already paying sanitation tax to the PMC. What is the point in collecting an extra fee from the residents by SWaCH? Also, most of the currently developed societies have their own composting plants where wet waste is treated and the old societies have created their own composting plants. The waste pickers of SWaCH only collect dry waste and sell it for their own purpose. But I do not understand why to collect double payments when we are already paying Sanitation Tax.
- Ravindra Sinha of the Baner-Pashan Residents Association

“I collect waste from 200 households from Prabhat Road and every household pays Rs 60 monthly. Every day almost two gunny bags of dry waste is collected from these households. We segregate the dry waste and the recyclable materials are then sold to scrap dealers from which I get Rs 80 to Rs 100 daily. People are segregating only dry waste and wet waste, but segregation of dry waste is not done. Also, people do not hesitate to give the user fee.
— Shobha Bansode, 
waste-picker from SWaCH

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