Garbage-collection groups in HCM City accused of extortion
07:08 28/07/2014
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To get the right to collect garbage in some certain areas, the owners of garbage-collection cooperatives have to pay billions of dong to buy the “areas” from their predecessors. To offset these payments, they then charge local households high collection fees.

Garbage-collection groups in HCM City accused of extortion

D, the owner of a rice shop in Binh Thanh district in HCM City, said she was the victim of a local garbage-collection ring.

At first, D was told to pay VND30,000 a month for the garbage-collection service fee. Some months later, she was asked to pay VND50,000 and then VND150,000.

Some days ago, she received a notice that she had to pay VND300,000 a month. Believing that the required service fee was overly high, D said she would not use the service, while trying to look for another service provider.

However, D could not do this because some people from the garbage-collection ring came to the area, intimidating new collectors and hindering the operation of the new collection ring. As a result, D's garbage could not be collected and carried away.

The problem was finally settled when D asked for intervention from local authorities.

Dinh Anh Tuan, who is running a small restaurant in district 2, said he only paid VND100,000 a month in the past for the garbage collection fee. But the collectors recently told him to pay VND600,000 a month.

“They said that they dropped a wallet with VND8 million inside at my restaurant while they were working here. They told me to give them back the wallet, or they would charge me VND600,000 a month in garbage collection fee,” Tuan said.

As Tuan refused to satisfy their request, his garbage was not picked up over the next few days. The collectors returned and told Tuan to pay VND900,000 a month.

Finally, Tuan had to phone for a truck to come and carry the pile of garbage away.

Nguyen Van Thanh, a resident in Go Vap district, complained that, besides the VND15,000 he has to pay monthly to the service provider, an extra fee has been added.

“I have no other choice than giving extra money to garbage collectors, or the garbage will not be taken away,” he said.

A city official said that many garbage-collection cooperatives have recently had their operation licenses revoked because they either did not pay the environmental sanitation fees or did not follow the regulations, and overcharged households.

Meanwhile, the owner of a garbage-collection ring said the service fee set by the HCM City authorities a long time ago is “out of date”.

As petrol prices and labor costs both have increased, the fee is not high enough to cover expenses, he said. Therefore, he has to ask people to pay extra money to ease the loss.

Nguyen Thi Chat, the owner of a garbage-collection group in Thanh Loc Ward of District 12, said she had lost the right to collect garbage in an area with 1,000 households for the same reason.


Source Vietnamnet

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