Environment, Finance ministries to probe waste treatment monopolies

Aiming to trim down excess public spending on garbage collection and foster competition in the sector, the Environmental Protection and Finance ministries are establishing a joint committee to examine municipal waste handling and price supervision.
An initial investigation conducted by the Environment Ministry indicated that the sector is controlled by monopolistic ventures that are generating excess profits of hundreds of millions of shekels each year. Such profits have spurred a rise in the cost of living, as members of the public finance the evacuation and treatment of waste through their municipal property taxes, the ministry explained.
“Whether we’re talking about payment surpluses in mobile phones, housing or waste – the money is money that the public pays,” said Environmental Protection Ministry director-general Yisrael Danzinger. “We will lead a revolution in the waste industry in order to minimize unnecessary costs to local authorities and to the consumer’s pocket.”
In its first stage of operation, the joint committee will hold a hearing to examine the supervisory process of the municipal waste sector, including the possibility of requiring reports on profits and pricing. The hearing follows the receipt of complaints from local authorities about unreasonably rising prices associated with garbage handling, with regards to waste transfer stations, transport and landfilling, the ministry said.
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