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State-owned company to coordinate waste management in Hungary

Analysis

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One state-owned company will coordinate all waste management across Hungary from April 1, the state secretary for priority public services said at press conference today, Hungarian news agency MTI reported.

The National Waste Management Coordination and Asset Management Company was established with HUF 4.8 billion in start-up capital, said Zsolt Szabó.

The company will restructure the waste management invoicing system and undertake a survey of assets on the basis of which development can be optimized, he added.

Garbage pick-up fees will not increase as a result of the restructuring, but the standard of service will improve and some burdens related to recycled waste collection could be reduced, Szabó said.

Szabó said a conservative estimate of the annual loss of waste management activities in Hungary was HUF 13 bln. One-third of the countryʼs 171 waste management companies are loss-making, he added.

Under the new coordinator, the system is expected to operate as a non-profit and to break even, Szabó said.

Another goal is to raise the proportion of waste that is recycled in Hungary, he said. A European Union directive stipulates selective collection for half of all waste, and that rate is expected to increase, he added.

Local councils will continue to have autonomy in the area of public services, but the standard of service must become uniform across the country, Szabó said.

The government will discuss a strategy for waste incineration in the near future, he added.

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