The disaster management authority on Wednesday took over the coordination of waste management in 116 villages in the central and northern Hungarian counties of Pest and Nográd, a state secretary of the interior ministry said.
Collection of household waste resumed on Wednesday after a two-day pause in the villages in question, the non-profit contracted for the task, Zöld Híd, said in a statement.
State Secretary Tibor Pogácsás told a press conference on Wednesday that the government’s utility cuts programme has ended companies’ practice to “raise [waste collection] fees at their hearts’ content”, requiring rationalisation within the companies. Some companies are remiss in that, Pogácsás said.
In a Tuesday resolution, the government regrouped 26.4 billion forints (EUR 81.3m) to fund waste management, the official gazette Magyar Közlöny showed.
József Gál, a Budapest councillor of green opposition LMP, slammed the measure as “a one-off injection instead of comprehensive measures”. “A viable waste management system would require 30 to 40 billion forints of additional funds,” he said.
The utility cost cuts are a “scam”, Gál said, and argued that people pay for the high waste collection costs through a 27 percent VAT and other taxes.
The opposition Socialists demand that the government should cover the costs of waste collection instead of taxpayers if the service suffers a delay of over five days in a month, the deputy leader of the party’s Budapest chapter told a press conference.
“The budget for this should be regrouped from the government’s propaganda spending”, Gergely Őrsi said.
The Socialists also demand dissolving the state company entrusted with coordinating waste management and returning waste management duties to local governments, he said.
Opposition Párbeszéd criticised the government for making Hungarian taxpayers “to pay twice” for the same service.
Hungarian people have already paid once for waste management in form of utility cost, a Budapest lawmaker for the party told reporters. Now they pay again since the government has been using central budget reserves to settle the crisis, Márta V Nászalyi said.
Featured image: MTI