Posted 11 августа 2023,, 06:38

Published 11 августа 2023,, 06:38

Modified 11 августа 2023,, 08:16

Updated 11 августа 2023,, 08:16

An all-Russian precedent: how to pay exactly one kopeck for garbage collection

An all-Russian precedent: how to pay exactly one kopeck for garbage collection

11 августа 2023, 06:38
An activist from Kurgan proved in court that not only he, but all Russians can throw bills for the removal of solid waste into the trash. The story is so loud that the plaintiff himself calls it a legal embarrassment that the Supreme Court will have to deal with. Novye Izvestia talked to the «culprit» of the commotion.

Ekaterina Maximova

Kurgan resident Sergey Zavyalov paid exactly one kopeck to the regional «garbage» operator «Clean City» for the removal of MSW. And this amount became a completely legitimate payment for the service performed by the regoperator from January 1, 2020 to December 30, 2021. The operator «Clean City» thought differently for two years and billed the Zavyalov family for 4 thousand rubles. That's why the participants of this unprecedented story met in court.

The plaintiff Sergey Zavyalov pointed out to the court that the settlement of the debt by the regoperator was carried out using the standard for the accumulation of solid household waste (MSW) established in the Kurgan region. For homeowners in apartment buildings, this is 1.9 cubic meters of garbage per year. And these standards were established in violation of the current legislation.

— Did you catch the regional operator on the fact that he incorrectly determined exactly the standards for the accumulation of MSW?

— Not me, but the court caught, and before that — the prosecutor's office. There is a Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation, which establishes requirements for the procedure for conducting measurements to determine standards. Measurements were carried out with violations of this order. In part of the categories of MSW, these measurements were not carried out at all, and in another part they were carried out with significant violations.

There is a calculation algorithm provided for by the legislation, observing this order and algorithm, some kind of figure is obtained at the output. If everything is done correctly, then the standard established in the region is legal. If not, there is no standard, consider it not.

The final cost of the service is added up: the price (tariff) is multiplied by the volume. It's like in a store: a loaf of bread costs 10 rubles, bought three loaves, paid 30 rubles. In our case, there is a tariff, but there is no «bread».

— It turns out that not only you, but also all those residents of the Kurgan region who have an agreement with the «Clean City», do not owe anything to the regoperator?

— How do we pay for water? By the counter. If there is no counter — according to the standard. That is, we have two ways to account for the volume of the service provided to you. The Housing Code provides for the priority of actual accounting, that is, according to metering devices. And only in the absence of metering devices — according to the standard.

We have regional operators all over the country abusing their right and explaining to everyone that no, you need to count exclusively according to the standard. This is, firstly, incorrect. Secondly, we proved, the court sided with us, that the standards are incorrect, and they cannot be used for calculation. If they are incorrect, then there is only one legal way to commercially account for the volume of the service provided — this is in fact, that is, by volume and number of containers.

I will say more, until the appearance of regional operators in general, in principle, there was no other way — except in fact.

-The court did not satisfy your claim for recalculation of the fee, although it recognized that the calculation standards were unlawful. That's why you decided to pay, but only one penny?

— Yes, it turns out that the court decided: still pay as much as you don't mind. So I paid a penny.

— That is, the court does not understand how to pay now?

— It was in court that we were asked the question: «And then how to pay?». And we have given our position, clearly justified by the current regulatory legal acts. We calculated the volume that we consider to be correct for payment — it turned out to be twice lower than the one that we were presented for payment.

— How did the regoperator react?

— The representative of the company replied: «Well, we don't ask for money from him, so it doesn't make sense to consider this claim.» The court of first instance and the appeal then ask the regional operator: «Excuse me, what does it mean you don't demand money? You demanded to recover the debt that you counted according to inflated standards.» To this, the regional operator replied: «That's it, we don't ask anymore. He may not pay.»

— They were just afraid that it would become a precedent.

— Exactly. It turns out that as long as the court decision is legally valid, I can not even consider the receipts that come to me for payment, I can not even read them — throw them in the trash.

And in my situation there are all citizens of the Russian Federation who receive bills from regional operators.

— If they do not prove, for example, in the same Moscow, that the standards are invalid.

-It is even possible that the standards are defined correctly, but the court's decision clearly states that sending an invoice for payment in itself is not a basis for recovery, that is, according to the court, incorrect figures may be indicated in the invoice.

Simply put, the regional court of the Kurgan region ruled that the amount in the receipt is not reliable. And it is not a basis for unconditional payment, that is, it confirmed that the service provider can indicate completely inflated figures in receipts. And as long as the consumer agrees, he pays.

And this decision concerns in general the principle of sending accounts of resource-supplying organizations, without reference to a specific Kurgan LLC «Clean City» and the standards for the accumulation of MSW in the Kurgan region.

In fact, the court disavowed the entire system of utility payments. That's the whole paradox. And, of course, this legal embarrassment of the Kurgan Regional Court should be corrected. It would be better if it was noticed in the Supreme Court.

The «author» of the defective regulations — the regional Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection did not appeal the court's decision. Moreover, earlier officials of this department were officially accused of violations of the Federal Law regulating the establishment of standards for the accumulation of MSW, as well as the rules for approving a new version of the waste management scheme in the Trans-Urals.

So, in the spring of 2023, the Kurgan Regional Court invalidated the department's order to amend the previously adopted document on the establishment of standards for the accumulation of MSW. This is the third partially or completely canceled legal «garbage» act of the Kurgan region in recent years. And what is chronically wrong with garbage norms in the Trans-Urals was dealt with by «RG».

Meanwhile, the regoperator of one small Kurgan region in this maximally opaque scheme continued to accumulate hundreds of millions of rubles. Industry experts have previously publicly stated that due to the controversial regulations that have been in effect in the Kurgan region for two years, the volume of unjustified enrichment could reach about 800 million rubles.

And at the same time, the «Clean City» demonstrates losses. According to Spark, in 2022 the LLC's revenue amounted to 952.5 million rubles. The operator closed the year with a loss of 100 million rubles. Novye Izvestia will send requests to depriroda and the regoperator.

Sergey Zavyalov noted that his one-kopeck payment inspired activists in other regions. People ask Kurganets, who has been delving into housing and communal services issues for many years, to share their experience of fighting with public utilities.