02/03/2016
Abu Dis landfill Photo: Yoav Goell
Supervision Over Municipal Waste Market Could Dismantle Monopolies, Lower Property Taxes
Abu Dis landfill
Photo: Yoav Goell
A first step toward regulation that will lead to lower waste prices for local authorities and the public. Environmental Protection Minister Avi Gabbay and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon have signed an order that will allow for the supervision of prices in the municipal waste market. The order followed the recommendation of a committee that was established in November 2015 to examine municipal waste handling and price supervision. The committee was established after the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MoEP) determined that the waste market is controlled by monopolies that are making massive, excess profits, and that the costs are passed on to residents through municipal property taxes.

​The supervision over prices is addressed in the Law for the Supervision of Commodities and Services. The objective of the committee examining the issue of waste price supervision was to foster competition and thus minimize costs that are passed down to consumers. The review came in the wake of complaints from local authorities about unreasonable pricing for waste removal and treatment, including transfer stations, waste transport, and landfilling.

Minister Avi Gabbay: "The prices of treating waste are ultimately passed onto the public, and the process we are beginning today will ultimately lead to savings in our property taxes. Like in other areas, the centralization of the waste market results in price increases and hurts the public."

Minister Moshe Kahlon: "The cost of living in Israel is a subject that affects all areas. We committed to bring down the cost of living in Israel, and we are going through every field, in order to actualize this commitment. In this case, centralization creates an excess burden that is ultimately passed on to consumers. The process we are beginning today deals with this exact problem."

In the first stage, businesses will have to report waste prices and profits. This will apply to businesses that deal with non-urban mixed waste, specifically transport contractors, transfer stations, and landfills. These businesses will have to provide data about their activities, including financial reports, balance sheets, details about the business and operating procedures, information about clients, rates, and costs.

The data will help MoEP supervisors determine whether those who collect and treat waste are charging an unreasonable amount for their services. If prices are deemed excessive, the aforementioned ministers could decide to begin supervising prices in accordance with Section 5 of the Law for the Supervision of Commodities and Services.

The ministers signed the order based on indications of several issues, including:

  1. Landfilling prices have risen by as much as 100% in several landfills.
  2. There is a severe lack of competition amongst those who provide transfer station and landfill services.

For more information, contact: mechirim@sviva.gov.il or 02-649-5836.