Minister of Electricity and Renewable energy Mohamed Shaker - Archive Photo
CAIRO - 14 January 2020: Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy Mohamed Shaker announced on Monday removing the cleaning fees from the monthly electricity bill starting July 2020.
Shaker’s remarks came during a meeting with the House of Representatives' Energy Committee. The minister stressed that collecting these fees is not part of the Electricity Ministry's work.
The minister also said that the cleaning fees collected from July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019 amounted to LE 566 million, with LE 562 million sent to Egypt’s various governorates.
“97 percent of this money (cleaning fees) was paid to cleaning companies, and 3 percent went to administrative expenditures,” he explained.
For his side, a spokesman for the Ministry of Electricity Ayman Hamza confirmed that the decision includes all subscribers, including those who use prepaid meters or traditional meters.
In September 2019, the Ministry of Environment announced that Egypt was preparing the infrastructure of the new waste management system, including establishing intermediary garbage collection stations and landfills, and raising the efficiency of recycling plants, which is the key element of the new system of managing solid waste in the country.”
A total of 80 million tons of garbage arecollected in Egypt each year, with most of them ending up in piles in the streets. The government has taken several steps over the years to contain the growing waste crisis in the country by raising awareness and announcing fines of up to LE 20,000 for littering streets.
Another side of the issue was the unfair waste billing, where citizens have repeatedly complained of being obliged to pay for the service twice, once for the door-to-door collection, and unreasonably, a second time as part of their electricity bills. This billing system has been in place for long years, pushing previous environment ministers to vow to solve the problem, and to work on allocating bills for the waste collection service separated from that of the electricity and water bills.
The new solid waste management approach as introduced by Minister of Environment Fouad includes 27 schemes, which seek to dispose the existing garbage and maintain sustainable recycling of the country’s waste.
Awareness of the risks of the single-use of plastic has seen growth in the country, with dozens of youth participating in clean-up campaigns at beaches and along the banks of the Nile River, and many groups calling for the ban of the hazardous pollutant, which affects the ecosystem and environment.
As of June 2019, the Red Sea governorate became the first to ban single-use plastic at food shops, restaurants, cruise ships, supermarkets, grocery stories and pharmacies.