Bin charges to be frozen for all customers until 2017

Agency says ‘nobody disposing same quantities of waste will face additional charges’

Simon Coveney arrives at a meeting with waste industry representatives in Tallaght, Co Dublin. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Simon Coveney arrives at a meeting with waste industry representatives in Tallaght, Co Dublin. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Bin charges are to be frozen for all customers for 12 months after the Government agreed a deal with waste management companies on Tuesday.

The Irish Waste Management Association, The City Bin Co and Greyhound have agreed to freeze charges until June 2017.

The City Bin Co, who along with Greyhound were initially not included in the deal, said in a statement: “We welcome the Government’s proposal today on pay-by-weight and are in agreement with the 12-month price freeze whereby our customers will remain on their current price plans.”

Greyhound Household also released a statement saying it supported the new measures for the waste industry as outlined by the Government.

In a statement, the Irish Waste Management Association said it had given a commitment that “no householder disposing the same quantities of waste will face any additional charges during the first 12 months of pay by weight.”

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Simon Coveney said the plan announced on Tuesday morning was “a comprehensive one which will protect households from increased charges and ensure that the introduction of pay by weight can happen in a way that builds acceptance and understanding of the benefits of pay-by-weight over time”.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said it is time to examine how the management of waste is dealt with.

He told the Dáil on Tuesday the spirit of the legislation dealing with bin charges related to how charges could be reduced.

“In other words, consumers or customers would have the option to examine carefully and think about how they would dispose of their waste in terms of green, brown and black bins and, on a pay-by-weight basis, charges could be reduced,’’ he added.

Clearly, said Mr Kenny, that was not going to happen, which was why Mr Coveney had met the waste management companies.

The move to pay-by-weight was announced by then minister for the environment Alan Kelly last year and the industry claimed about 87 per cent of households would pay less as a result.

However, there had been anecdotal evidence of some companies imposing steep increases in standing charges.

The Waste Management Association also said the transition period would allow householders to do a cost comparison between their current price and what they would pay if the pay-by-weight system had been introduced.

“It will help householders better understand how waste charges are calculated. They will be able to see how recycling more can reduce their annual charges.”

The association also asserted it expected the Government to launch a nationwide information campaign on recycling and the rationale behind the pay-by-weight system.

The association also confirmed it had committed to giving allowances to households where an incontinent adult was under care, and where incontinence nappies were being disposed.

This concession will benefit up to 60,000 households, according to sources.

A statement from the Department of Environment said at the end of this 12-month freeze on charges, the Government would review the operation of pay-by-weight, including the effectiveness of the transition process, and make decisions regarding its further roll-out, regulation and oversight of the sector

On Monday night Mr Coveney said the Government was considering setting up a regulator for the domestic waste management sector.

Source: Irish Times