Haarlemmermeer municipality will not compensate its residents for the stripped collection of organic waste this summer. Every year, households transfer hundreds of euros in waste taxes, but the municipality is not prepared to compensate residents for the reduced collection.
Haarlemmermeer municipality says this to NH Nieuws when asked in response to the report that waste treatment company Meerlanden was due to a lack of staff and equipment problems. Collect vegetable, fruit and garden waste less frequently over the summer† Instead of once a week, Meerlanden visits once every two weeks until the end of August, the company announced via Facebook the day before yesterday.
below that message many residents of Haarlemmermeer are asking for partial compensation for the waste tax. “I can assume that the residents will be compensated when you get to skip 4 times? What do I think we pay you well for? What a very bad thing,” writes one woman. “Getting less is, I suppose, paying less?”, One man wonders.
The request for compensation seems realistic: If a service provider is unable to provide a service that has already been paid for, the consumer is compensated. For example, if you have no electricity between four and eight hours, you get 35 euros from Liander. And anyone without internet or television for half a day or more due to a network failure, gets on the next invoice in proportion to the duration of the failure.
The power of the majority
Still, Haarlemmeermeer municipality must disappoint its residents in this regard, especially because the company does not fail to do so with the stripped-down collection. “The introduction of the summer plan is a form of force majeure, a temporary emergency measure that we see throughout the Netherlands. Especially among care and service providers, there is a shortage of labor, pressure on staff and sick leave.”
“May I bring the maggots crawling out of it to you?”
Bart Koper from Nieuw-Vennep finds ‘it is very special how a service provider can unilaterally change a contract in connection with a lack of labor market’, he says to NH Nieuws. “It cannot be the case that the customer of a service is exposed to this, because it is not the customer’s responsibility. It therefore seems to me only logical that compensation should take place.”
The buyer emphasizes that it is ‘particularly annoying’ that the waste has to last longer in the hottest months and will therefore cause inconvenience. These concerns are broader in scope, according to the responses to Meerlanden’s Facebook message. “May I bring the maggots crawling out of it to you?”
Sander Jansen from Hoofddorp is also worried about vermin. “It’s something the municipality should not want.” He says he understands that this is force majeure, but does not think it is a reason not to compensate affected households. “They (the municipality, ed.) Should take care of it in a proper way. If they can not, or if the rules of the game are changed during the game, one can expect compensation for it.”
The Consumer Association
Spokesman Gerard Spierenburg from Forbrugerforeningen tells NH Nieuws that he understands that Haarlemmermeer’s residents are asking for partial compensation for the waste tax. “The fact remains that the municipality and the renovator do not do what they are paid for.”
Whether the municipality does so is another matter. Because the Consumer Association does not normally deal with government affairs, the organization does not know if other municipalities have ever applied such a discount because they were in default.
Incidentally, situations are also conceivable where a municipality can withhold compensation on a legitimate basis, Spierenburg emphasizes. “Some municipalities collect waste at or below cost, so that may be an argument for not compensating.”