In June 2015, the government adopted a decision, which obliges construction companies, but also private citizens, who accumulate inert waste, to submit them to landfills. In point 15 of the decision, it was stated that the delivery of waste was done according to the tariff proposed by the operator and approved by the local unit.
At that time no one understood what was being played, not even the builders themselves. The Sharra landfill was still state-owned, while the temporary landfills operated free of charge. But the decision was long-range, and aimed at creating a giant but also unique business in the world; soil waste monopoly.
At the end of 2017, the government approved the concession contract for the Tirana incinerator. A few months after the Sharra landfill was transferred to private management, Erion Veliaj’s police officers and environmental inspectors stormed in on all construction sites.
The reason for the offensive was the obligation of the builders to hand over the soils from the excavations to the Sharra landfill. But not for free. For each ton and delivered to the landfill, the builders have to pay the Sharra concessionaire a fee of 480 Lek per ton, while for other construction aggregates 900 Lek per ton.
The whole procedure of how the tariffs were proposed and approved, was kept out of the public eye. But for two years, the Municipality of Tirana has established the most predatory and absurd monopoly in the history of mankind.
If a builder has two parallel construction sites, in one of which he also pulls from the
ground, while in the other he needs filling, he cannot transport the soil waste from the first construction site to the second. There is only one solution to this. The soil extracted from the first construction site must be deposited in the landfill, paying the concessionaire 480 Lek for each ton.
Then the same soil waste that he delivered to the landfill, he is obliged to buy from the concessionaire by paying the fee again. In short, the Municipality of Tirana has set up a monopoly, which forces citizens to pay both when selling and buying.
This is a giant business, which plays millions of euros a year. And enjoys a strong state protection. The monopoly does not stop only at construction companies, but extends everywhere, even to individuals. If a citizen digs a hole in his private yard, it is likely that within 10 minutes the municipal police to go there immediately to force him to transport the land to the landfill.
The support of the Municipality for this business is so strong, that among the builders is circulating an anecdote. The safest place today in Albania is to be near a construction site or a truck that transports soil waste. At a minimum, behind the truck will be two Municipal police cars, which have only one task. Take the truck to the landfill, until it pays the money to the dealer.
The Municipality of Tirana is the main shareholder of the water supply. But over 60 percent of water in Tirana is not charged, as it is stolen or lost in the network. In the Sharra landfill, the shareholder is private. But thanks to the municipal police, in Tirana not a single ton is lost and uncharged. That says it all.
The cost of a soil waste monopoly falls not only on private but also on public construction. Today the citizens of Tirana pay the land fee for every road, school, hospital or any other public work that is built. This is one of the main reasons why today it is being excavated in every corner of Tirana. To feed the most absurd monopoly ever erected in the history of mankind with the Municipality of Tirana as architect.