Government waste recycling contract lacks legal basis

The cost of the SuperDrecksKëscht contract over its 11-year span by far exceeds €40m, meaning a special law should have been applied.  Photo: Mike Zenari

The cost of the SuperDrecksKëscht contract over its 11-year span by far exceeds €40m, meaning a special law should have been applied.  Photo: Mike Zenari

A contract between the SuperDrecksKëscht recycling centre and the state lacks a solid legal basis, experts said in an opinion submitted to parliament, following criticism of a market monopoly over the 11-year agreement.

The law from 2005, which assigned SDK, under the environment ministry’s authority, to recycle dangerous household waste, doesn’t have a sound legal basis, legal experts said in an opinion shared with members of parliament on Monday.

In September last year, an audit commissioned into the contract between the state and the SuperDrecksKëscht recycling centre had concluded that it did not violate public tender rules, following accusations of a market monopoly.

But a legal opinion submitted to the parliament on 10 January said a special law has to be drafted for contracts between companies and the state, when the contract generates a cost of more than €40m. The agreement between SDK and the environment ministry generates an expense of €10m a year, meaning that for the 2018-2028 span, it has already cost more than €40m.

To allow for better supervision of the state’s budget, special legislation concerning the multiannual expense should have been created, the expert opinion said, according to minutes of a meeting in parliament published online.

To add fuel to the debate, Meris Sehovic, co-president of the Déi Gréng in an interview with RTL on Tuesday revealed that he had read the legal opinion presented the day before. He spoke in defence of the contract, which has put pressure on environment minister Carole Dieschbourg (Déi Gréng).

The revelation that Sehovic had read the document sparked reactions from deputies Martine Hansen (CSV) and Sven Clement (Pirate Party). Hansen in a tweet said: “Yesterday, the green party insisted that the legal opinion should not be made public now. This morning, I hear from RTL that Mr Sehovic already read it. That’s the green party’s understanding of transparency. Only they have a right to it.”

Clement agreed, saying that it was “not possible that the green party in the commission and the conference of presidents speaks AGAINST a publication, and now outsiders to the chamber have already read it.”

The debate surrounding the recycling service is not yet over. On 17 January, Dieschbourg will meet deputies to discuss the matter in more detail.