Published on Tuesday, 21 Jun 2016
Mr. Simon Coveney T.D., Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government today (21 June, 2016) announced the successful conclusion of an agreement with the Waste Industry with regard to the introduction of Pay-by-Weight charging for waste collection.
“The Government this morning agreed a plan to resolve the on-going issues around bin charging and the introduction of pay by weight. The plan is 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,” said Minister Coveney
Since the waste industry began releasing its planned pricing plans in relation to the nationwide roll-out of pay-by-weight charging at the start of June, the Government has flagged its significant concerns regarding the reported escalation of waste bills for some customers from July, particularly in relation to proposed increases in service charges.
“We have engaged actively and intensely with representatives of the waste industry over the last few days, with a view to agreeing a way forward that results in customers paying no more than they’re currently paying for waste collection over the next 12 months – by means of a price freeze to end-June 2017 – to avoid any potential significant price hikes from next month, while households have time to adapt to the new system and more effectively manage their waste,” added the Minister
Under the Government plan customers will over time be able to see, through a dual billing process, details in their bills about the amount of waste they are disposing of, their costs under the continuation of their current price plan and details of the comparative pay-by-weight charge.
“During this transition period, my Department, in partnership with the waste industry, will drive an intensive public awareness, information and promotion campaign to support customers in understanding the new system, how they can change their waste management behaviour and better manage their waste costs under the pay-by-weight system.
“It’s vital that, if households become more efficient in segregating waste and reducing their waste bills, they will have the opportunity to choose to transition during this period to pay-by-weight charging or, if they prefer, they can opt to remain on their current price plan.”
At the end of this 12-month transition period (in July 2017), the Government will 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.
Crucially, the plan also provides assurances for users of incontinence products supplied by the HSE that they will not face additional charges under pay by weight and that operators will absorb this cost.
Appropriate amendments to the waste legislation will be made to provide for comparative billing information for customers and opt-in arrangements.
The operation of the price freeze by the industry will be closely monitored by Government and, in the event of evidence of it not being honoured, the Minister will ensure that primary legislation is brought forward to legislate to enforce the freeze.
“I want to thank the Industry for working with me on this difficult matter. This is the best outcome for households and they can now manage their own waste in a sustainable manner and in the process reduce their costs. It is a priority for this Government to help working families and keeping waste costs down while encouraging recycling is an excellent example of this,” ended Minister Coveney.