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Govt sets up national waste management agency

Hungary's government on Monday established a non-profit company to take control of the collection and recycling of waste subject to environmental fees.

Rural Development Minister Sándor Fazekas said at the signing of the National Waste Management Agency's (OHU) articles of cooperation that the company would start operating on September 1.

Fazekas said a new environmental fee regulatory system was created in the first half of the year, and the establishment of the OHU was just one part of implementing the system. No exemptions from the environmental fee will be allowed under the new system, he added.

Expanding the system of collecting and recycling waste subject to environmental fees will create 2,000-3,000 workplaces, he said.

OHU is expected to take in HUF 26bn from environmental fees on products, said state secretary for environmental affairs Zoltán Illés. By 2014, environmental fees are seen generating revenue of HUF 85bn, he added.

Answering a question about the practice in some Hungarian cities of declaring days on which residents may leave out for pickup disused items not normally allowed, Illés said the plans are to allow each home to call for their own special pickup twice a year.