Waste disposal fees to triple

The household garbage management rate will be tripled nationwide, to replace the current unrealistic rate that does not cover the actual waste management cost, the Ministry of Interior says.

The new rate for households will be a minimum of 60 baht per month, up from 20 baht.

Dhana Yantrakovit, deputy chief of the Department of Local Administration (DLA), said the new garbage management fee will be introduced immediately after ministerial regulations related to waste management are announced.

He was speaking at a seminar entitled "Waste and Hazardous Waste Management at the Local Level", organised by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.

However, he did not specify when this would be, as new ministerial regulations are still in the public hearing process. Section 77 of the constitution stipulates that public hearings must be held before any law or regulation that impacts people is enacted.

According to the Cleanliness and Tidiness Act promulgated in 2017, garbage management fees will range from 60-102 baht per month, instead of the current 20-40 baht that was previously announced by the Ministry of Public Health.

The new regulations have set a minimum rate of 60 baht to try to cover the actual cost of waste management.

According to the DLA, local administration organisations countrywide, excluding Bangkok, collect only 2 billion baht annually in waste management fees, while the actual cost approaches 13 billion baht.

In Bangkok, City Hall collects around 500 million baht per year to manage household waste while the actual management cost has risen to 6 billion baht a year.

"The government is concerned about the increasing costs of managing household waste. People can offset the fee if they separate waste at home or as a community. By doing so, we hope to see a big change in waste management within five years," said Mr Dhana.

He added that waste management fees could drop to zero if a household or community can manage their own waste.

Household waste management is the government's top priority in setting up a master plan on waste management. The goal includes a plan to promote waste segregation at home under the concept of the 3Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle), the construction of waste-led power plants in 25 possible locations nationwide and a plan to properly manage electronic and hazardous waste.

The master plan will also deal with accumulated waste.

About 80% of 30 million tonnes of accumulated waste has already been cleared.

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