More details needed on waste collection fees

The National Environment Agency (NEA) needs to educate the public on the criteria and elements that are used in calculating the charges for waste collection.

This will be a timely move in the light of the increase in waste collection fees from next year ("Garbage collection fees to go up in 2017"; yesterday).

The NEA has cited higher operating costs for increasing the fees from $7.49 to $8.25 for apartments and $24.81 to $27.47 for landed homes.

There is no avenue for consumers to dispute the increase in fees.

If manpower is the main cause, the NEA needs to work with the respective stakeholders and research institutions to redesign the method of refuse collection.

The NEA should study the approach taken by the Public Transport Council (PTC) in deciding on a reduction in public transport fares in its annual review.

The formula used by the PTC shows that the fares should not be always going up despite changes in the market conditions.

The NEA should help the public understand what it is paying for.

Lim Tong Wah

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 09, 2016, with the headline 'More details needed on waste collection fees'. Print Edition | Subscribe