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Bin charges latest: Most companies have agreed to freeze prices for a year

The Irish Waste Management Association has agreed a number of measures it says “will alleviate consumer concerns” over bin charges.

Wondering how all this impacts on you? Let us explain exactly what is happening with the new pay-by-weight bin charges. 

Updated at 3pm 

THE CABINET HAS agreed to proposals brought forward by environment minister Simon Coveney this morning to freeze bin charges for a period of 12 months.

The industry will also cooperate with the government on a public information campaign to educate householders on charging schemes, the Taoiseach confirmed in the Dáil this afternoon.

Members of the Irish Waste Management Association, which represents waste companies across the country, said earlier they had agreed to a number of measures which they say “will alleviate consumer concerns” over bin charges.

Its members have committed to freezing prices at current rates from this week until 1 July 2017, the IWMA’s statement said.

It added:

This means that no householder disposing the same quantities of waste will face any additional charges during the first 12 months of pay-by-weight.

Last week, the issue of price hikes was raised by a number of TDs in the Dáil, with some members saying the waste collection companies were operating “a cartel”. Bin charges were due to rise by 200% for some customers ahead of the new pay-by-weight system that is due to kick in on 1 July.

Former environment minister Alan Kelly, who introduced the pay-by-weight plan, said last week he had not envisaged a price hike from the industry. In a strongly-worded statement, the Labour TD said he had made it “perfectly clear” to waste companies that if they tried to exploit the situation in this way, the Statutory Instrument (used to bring in the pay-per-weight system) would be revised “to force their hands”.

Encouraging recycling 

Minister Coveney will give further details on the agreement he reached with the waste industry at an event later this afternoon.

The IWMA said earlier that during the planned 12-month transition period “waste companies will provide a cost comparison to their customers that will show the amount of waste they are disposing, their current costs and the equivalent pay-by-weight charges”

The cost comparison “will help householders better understand how waste charges are calculated,” the industry group said.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said he supported that plan, answering questions from Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin this afternoon.

Incontinence pads

According to the industry group, a free allowance will be given to customers who need to dispose of incontinence pads.

“IWMA members are committed to an arrangement whereby the additional weight attributed to non-infancy incontinence wear will be collected free of charge,” their statement said.

The IWMA has been examining the issue for the past two months, meeting with the Carers’ Association to better understand their requirements, and working with the department and the HSE to provide for households with higher volumes of waste than average due to non-infancy incontinence.

“This is a practical solution to hardship experienced by particularly vulnerable people in our society – the aged and those with disabilities.”

About three quarters of bin companies are members of the IWMA. Greyhound and the City Bin Co, for example, are not.

The latter sent us this 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 responded this afternoon to say it “supports the new measures”.

A list of IWMA members can be read here.

Additional reporting by Daragh Brophy. 

Read: Coveney set to freeze bin charges for 12 months

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Órla Ryan

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