TBILISI, DFWatch — Many in Tbilisi had hoped that city hall would do away with an unpopular new system to make the garbage collection fee dependent on the electric bill, but at Friday’s session it emerged that despite the opposition’s election victory it is not certain that the system will be scrapped.
Tbilisi City Hall is discussing two different types of garbage fee. Mayor Gigi Ugulava said after the meeting that they are looking at different ideas for how to improve the system.
The first proposal is a system which will be the same as today for calculating the seasonal tariff, which will be less in winter.
“In winter more electricity is spent then in other seasons. This system has its advantages. In Tbilisi there are 25 000 closed flats and accordingly, their owners do not pay fee,” Ugulava explained.
Before the garbage fee was made a function of the electric bill in late 2011, home owners had to pay garbage fee regardless of whether anyone was living in the house or not.
The other proposal was made by the mayor and involves establishing a fixed price for garbage which will be seven lari per family, or USD 4.20.
The mayor explained that Tbilisi City Hall started reviewing alternative systems for garbage fee because the 1 000 lari per household voucher program has not yet come into force. It was part of the election program of the National Movement to give a four year voucher to each Georgian family to cover public fees.
In any case, despite any new regulations, socially vulnerable families will have ordinary benefits and will pay half price.
The issue will continue to be reviewed next week.
Last winter, electricity and garbage fees significantly increased for most people in Tbilisi, as the more they spent on electricity, the larger the garbage fee became. This system is still in force.