CAIRO: The Administrative Judiciary Court decided last week to remove garbage collection fees from the electricity bill, after citizens protested to what they deemed an unfair move.
According to a source at the Main Garbage Collection Company in Cairo, the garbage collection fees used to be determined by the amount of electricity consumed by the location.
“For example, before the court’s decision, a small jewelry shop that consumes massive amounts of electricity but produces hardly any waste used to pay high garbage collection fees because they were based on electricity consumption. So, the more electricity the shop or the home consumes, the more garbage fees are collected and vice versa, said the source.
He said many citizens strongly condemned this system and filed lawsuits because the electricity consumption bears no relation whatsoever to the amount of garbage produced in homes, factories and companies.
“It was really unfair link the collection fees with electricity consumption, so the court reasonably considered to be illogical and called upon the Cairo Governorate Office to reconsider the previous bills paid by citizens and return the difference, said the source.
An official at the media office of the Cairo Governorate Office said a new method of bill collection has been implemented following Law No. 10/2005, which mandates that all houses or trading associations have to pay fixed garbage collection fees according to the districts they are located in.
He said the governorate divided Cairo into three main categories, according to social and economic class.
“The first category has residents of affluent areas like Zamalek and Garden City pay a fixed garbage collection fee of LE 8. The second category applies to middle-class areas like Hadayeq Al Kobba and Shubra which must pay LE 5; while the third category of poor areas will pay LE 3, said the official.
The official asserted that the governorate office has not received any official request from the court to reimburse citizens for previous payments and to implement the new system.
He said the governorate must now coordinate with the Cairo Electricity Company to discuss reasonable ways achieve that.
A deputy at the ministry of electricity who requested to remain anonymous, declined to comment on the court’s decision.
She explained, however, that the ministry’s role is restricted to money collection. The ministry receives two percent of the total amount of the garbage collection fees gathered as compensation for providing this service to the Cairo governorate.
Chairman and spokesmen of the North Cairo Electricity Company were unavailable for comment.