BMA likely to delay new rubbish collection fee

BMA likely to delay new rubbish collection fee

(Bangkok Post file photo)
(Bangkok Post file photo)

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) is likely to postpone the new garbage collection fee for another year, in a bid perceived as populist appeasement.

The Bangkok Council on Wednesday gave initial approval to a proposal tabled by Bangkok governor Aswin Kwanmuang asking that the new fee should be put off for another year.

Governor Aswin told councilors the move is in line with government's policy to reduce financial burdens on households. The council last year approved a new rate that is four times higher than the present one.

For instance, the collection fee for households increases from 20 baht to 80 baht monthly. The new rate was supposed to take effect on Oct 1 and is expected to raise 1.5 billion baht a year.

The governor asked the Bangkok Council to postpone the fee to Oct 1 next year.

Despite some disputes, the council meeting on Wednesday approved the proposal and will deliberate it again next month. A source said the proposal is "politically motivated" and will be approved finally.

Chayawut Siriyutwatthana, a Bangkok councillor, said he disagreed with governor Aswin's proposal. He said the BMA should consider waiving the handling fee for households producing no more than 500 cubic metres of waste per month and focus on collecting more money from businesses producing a large amount of waste.

The 20 baht per household fee has not changed since 2005. The rate doesn't reflect actual costs, which have gone up to 228 baht per household per month, according to the BMA.

At 80 baht, the new rate is still much lower than the rate of 220 baht per month suggested by the Department of Health's 2017 Ministerial Regulation on Hygienic Waste Management.

The BMA says the 228 baht per month cost comprises 130 baht for waste collection, and 98 baht for its management. While the whole process costs the BMA about 6.9 billion baht a year, it collects only 523 million baht from residents, or less than 10% of the cost.

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