Zwolle – The roommates, most of whom are students, are having a tough time financially. Concerns are now growing because Zwolle municipality wants to charge €1.70 for each garbage bag thrown out from next year.
Young students are upset that owners in the slums will significantly increase the costs of service. Students who honestly separate waste are also victims of the behavior of fellow residents who do not. The students, whose names are known to the editors, stand with their backs against the wall. They are entitled to rent protection and can file a complaint with the Rental Evaluation Committee. The supervisor can force the landlord to lower the room rent. They can also put a line through the service costs charged by landlords.
“The government decided to allow temporary rents,” says one of the room’s residents. “Anyone who complains can look for another room, even if you are within your rights,” she adds. A big problem for students who have been happy for a long time is that they can still find a room in Zwolle. “It’s just push and shut up.”
The students look with trepidation and trembling at the approaching winter. The costs then go through the uninsulated roofs of the students’ homes. “We can get energy surcharges in Zwolle, but saving energy is not an option.” A resident of the student house in the heart of Assendorp points to his home. The house has one glass and it doesn’t take long for you to find cracks and holes in the poorly maintained frames. “It’s freezing cold indoors, especially when it’s windy,” he says. “I have to put the central heating on high and use an electric heater until it reaches 16 degrees,” says the student.
He chose to sleep early in warm clothes so as not to be nickeled in his 12-square-meter room. “Slum owners are charging insanely high rents and do nothing about maintenance. They really are not going to isolate.” The student fears that the extra energy cost is just a drop in the ocean.
A group of girls live in the same square. They fear that the provisions will disappear into the pockets of slum owners. “I’ve never seen my condo owner, but he actually went there to say the gas bill is six times higher,” says a young college student. “He said I should arrange an energy allowance with the municipality.” Its residents were told the same thing. We live in a house with four girls and already know that service costs will go up by at least 6000 next year. Our energy allowance is a subsidy for milking homes.”
The proposed change in the wastage rate is another government rule that has a negative impact on students. “So far, the waste costs our house about 300 euros a year,” says one of the students. “That was 75 euros per person in service costs.” In 2023, this fixed portion of the waste tax will be reduced. “It saves us €12.50 per person. Once you’ve thrown a garbage bag eight times, you’re already on top of it. All the houses in Assendorp have a waste lane,” says the HVO law student. “So we have to share that pass. It’s unfair.” “I don’t have much space to separate trash in my room. They collect green waste and old paper PMD weekly once a month and I take my glass away when I have to go to the stores. Keeping the leftover waste in a full garbage bag takes up a lot of space in my room and before I fill up with a stench.”
The four students fear for the students’ behavior elsewhere. They shout in unison: “Where boys and girls live, things really go wrong.” “Girls are often more aware of the environment and the future of our planet. A lot of guys are more into partying. Sometimes they just throw dirty dishes with food leftovers into the underground container if they don’t want to wash the dishes.”
The example of a quadrilateral indicates the problem that students might face if they are not so lucky. Here there are student houses with ten residents. One student says, “He who misbehaves will not be punished with great costs.” “He thinks it’s not too bad for him because the costs are divided by ten.”
Another practical example is the transition of one of the inhabitants of the room. Often, half of the household luggage goes to the underground container. This saves transportation and towing costs and is gone before the bill falls on the carpet. Then the residents and even the new resident are punished.”
Law students have a solution. According to them, the municipality should drop the rule of one waste pass per home. “If there is a room rental, there should be one pass per resident.” The girls emphasize the municipality’s goal: the polluter pays. “If there’s a personal waste permit, you’ll check that for the room’s residents as well.”
At the same time, the registered waste permit ensures fair financial management of students. “Slum landlords come up with unspecified service fees. They pass this on to us and add some profit to it,” says one of the students. “It is forbidden according to the rental commission, but the complaint is that the lease has expired.” The girls hope the city council will do something for them. “If they were going to do that, they shouldn’t label everyone in the room as a one-person family. Then we get nothing from it.”
The fixed portion for one-person households will be €233.77 next year. The definition of multi-person households is that many people live at one address. “The municipality will then have to divide the fixed portion for each home by the number of waste permits that have been issued.” According to the students, this should not be a problem. “When there are city council elections, there are also four ballot papers in the box.”
Three adult men live in a student house near Mollenveg. “Not strange in our street. Several alumni have commented. “Partly because of harmony, but also out of necessity,” says one resident. “We were able to work in Zwolle and there was no home in town.” He supports the idea of introducing a waste permit for each room resident. “We have a reasonable landlord and old leases for an indefinite period of time. As a student I paid too much because I didn’t know anything better. This is different now, I got my due and got a huge rent reduction.”
Interrupted by a fellow resident. “Passing waste to everyone saves me a lot of money,” and he has faced many setbacks in recent years. After a long struggle with illness, he was no longer able to return to work. “I’m in luxury. Now I only pay a third of the waste costs, while other Zwolle people on the social assistance level don’t have to.”
From 2023, anyone at the social assistance level can request a waiver of the fixed portion of the GBLT. They can also throw a trash bag into an underground container several times a year for free. “Having your own waste card would be a great solution, especially now that governments are thinking about helping people who can barely make ends meet.”
The rates for 2023 are not final yet. The city council will discuss the tariff on the remaining waste next month.