Minister for Communications, Climate Action & Environment, Dennis Naughten, has released a statement on the Government’s plans to incentivise people to reduce their waste and to recycle more through the gradual phasing out of flat-rate fees for bin collections.
The statement opens: “We are currently running an information campaign which explains that moving away from flat-rate fees will allow for greater control and flexibility for householders through incentivised pricing structures. Over half the population already do this. Research shows that flat-rate fees do not encourage behavioural change so phasing out flat fees will reduce waste thereby potentially saving householders money.”
Promising to announce details of a price watchdog in the coming weeks, the Minister explained that the phasing out of flat-rate fees is happening because research shows significantly less waste is generated by using either a ‘pay by lift’ or a ‘pay by weight’ option.
“As a society we discard an incredible 80 per cent of what we produce after a single use and an average family throws away €700 in food waste every year.”
A revised pricing structure will phase out all flat rate/fixed prices for household bin collection in the coming year. The change will only affect your household if you are currently on a flat-rate charge bin collection service.
If you already pay per weight or per collection, new payment plans will be introduced by your bin company from autumn this year as your current contract comes to an end. When your new charges will start will depend on when your current contract runs out. Minister Naughten recommended contacting the company that currently collects your bins to ask if and when they plan to change their pricing structures.
Prices could still change as bin collectors can already adjust the service pricing plan within the bounds of consumer and contract legislation. The Minister has promised that prices in the waste collection market in the months ahead will be carefully monitored. A financial support of €75 per year is to be introduced for each person with lifelong or long-term medical incontinence needs towards disposal of incontinence wear.
“Unless people want to see the re-emergence of landfills in every local authority area we need, collectively, to make the transition from taking little notice of what goes into our bins to being conscious of what, and how, we are disposing of our waste. What the Government is doing is most certainly not about imposing financial hardship on families. We are preventing greater waste problems for future generations while at the same time, helping householders control their own bin costs.”
The statement concludes: “Taking individual responsibility, and our responsibility as a State into consideration, this new incentivised pricing structure makes sense”.