Garbage war. Bucharest mayor wins battle with waste company after paying collectors to pick up trash

A Bucharest district mayor on Wednesday said that the town hall had directly paid garbage collectors to pick up trash that for weeks has been piling up in the capital’s richest district.

Clotilde Armand, who won election last fall, has been in a standoff with Romprest waste collectors for months over unpaid bills.

Dispute

The dispute started shortly after she took office and has periodically erupted with the waste company refusing to take away the trash.

The company last stopped collecting garbage in the district where about quarter of a million people live in May.

Amid criticism and health concerns about the piles of garbage piling up on street corners, the town hall directly paid waste collectors this week to clean up the mess.

Garbage

She said 260 tons had been collected on Wednesday in just three hours.

“The District 1 city hall managed to pay the waste sorters directly this morning despite the Romprest’s obstacles. The garbage started to be collected. Over 260 tons of garbage have been picked up in only three hours”, Clotilde Armand posted on Facebook.

The district 1 mayor told Romprest that it was illegal to leave garbage on the streets  and broke the terms of the contract.

In early June, she called for a state of alert in her district. That came after Romprest refused to perform contractual duties, invoking unpaid bills.

Romprest contract

Earlier this week, Ms Armand said she would propose the termination of the contract with Romprest at the next local council meeting.

Romprest have submitted invoices to of 165 million lei to the town hall.

The mayor said the company has consistently overcharged. She said the cost of street sanitation in the first district per square kilometer is an exorbitant 2.42 million per square kilometer. That is 14 times higher than in the western city of Oradea, she said.

Bucharest

Bucharest has a population of about 2.14 million and six districts. The first district is the richest. It also has the least residents; an estimated 254,000 in 2019.

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