A GARBAGE truck does not have to stop in front of 75-year-old Jozef Prištic's house in the oldest part of Piešťany because this pensioner does not own a garbage container. Furthermore, he says he does not want one because his household doesn't produce any garbage, the Pravda daily wrote.
Prištic says he puts all the waste from his kitchen and perfectly cultivated garden in compost, grinds bones and uses them to feed animals, and brings all paper, glass and metal to the scrap yard. As proof, he offered copies of receipts that he shows to inspectors from time to time.
"It is not easy to cut every stick into small pieces for the compost," he explained to members of the Environmental Committee. "My hands are all calloused from that."
At first, town officials fined Prištic Sk1,000 for "not putting waste into collection containers meant for that purpose", but the Environment Ministry overturned it on the grounds that it is possible and acceptable to live absolutely environmentally friendly.
So the Town Office has asked Prištic to pay for communal waste, contending that every household uses plastic bottles, milk cartons, and butter packets.
"Why should I buy water in plastic bags if I have good water from the tap?" he declared. "I buy cow milk from a private breeder, I take it in glass bottles, and we make butter and cheese ourselves."
But the town has been insistent.
"Mr. Prištic, like everyone else, is a generator of waste as defined by the Act on Waste," Ján Baranovič from the Environmental Department of the Piešťany Town Office said. "Under this Act, he is obliged to take part in the town's waste collection system. He can ask for his fees to be reduced, but he refuses to pay at all."
Garbage collection fees can be reduced by half, leaving Prištic to pay Sk550 annually.
"Why should I pay for other people who have two to three garbage containers in front of their houses, just because it is easiest for them to throw everything in there?" the pensioner questioned.
After six years of arguing with the town, Prištic now owes about Sk6,000 in fees.