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The new Pay By Weight bin system (including recycling) explained

Green bins, black bags and microchips: We answer the questions everyone is asking.

Image: Shutterstock/FooTToo

THE PAY BY Weight system for household waste collection will be introduced nationwide on 1 July.

There have been a lot of questions and not a lot of clear answers surrounding the system, especially after it was announced that the government were removing the minimum charges for recycling bins.

The new system will involve the waste collectors charging a flat fee and then charging per kg of waste. Collectors don’t have to have a fixed charge for the service, but it is expected that most will charge a flat fee to cover fixed costs like vehicles.

Here are our answers to the main questions that people have been asking…

So minimum charges for recycling bins are gone, does this mean that they will be free?

Probably not. The government has scrapped the minimum charges for recycling bins but this doesn’t stop waste companies charging for the bins.

Kevin Swift, the Regional Waste Coordinator for Ulster-Connacht, said that they expect that there will still be a charge for recycling bins. Speaking at the Pay By Weight campaign launch he said that the companies can’t operate below cost.

There are still options to recycle for free at bring banks and civic amenities. To find your local recycling facilities check out Repak’s handy search here.

So what will the other bins cost?

There will be a flat fee charged for the overall bin service. There is still no confirmation of how much this flat fee will be, this will be decided by each waste collector.

Along with the fixed charge there will be a pay per kg system for each type of waste. The household waste bins will cost a minimum 11 cent per kg and the food waste bins will cost 6 cent per kg. The waste collectors can choose to stick with the minimum price per kg or increase it.

There is no obligation to have a food waste bin, households can compost as usual.

As an example of costs, Barna Recycling have broken down the Pay By Weight system that they already run in Leitrim. They estimate that a family of four save  €229 after switching to the Pay By Weight system. The regular system costs €494 for 26 collections of waste by Barna Recycling and their Pay By Weight system costs the €265 euro for the same amount.

Barna recycling 2 Source: BarnaRecycling.com

This estimate is for Barna Recycling customers in Leitrim. Barna Recycling charge 22 cent per kg for waste bin collections and 8 cent for recycling and compost. You can check with your waste collector to see what their fees will be.

Kevin Swift warned that the costs could run higher for larger families, but it all depends on how they manage their waste.

Why is this being brought in?

Ireland’s current recycling rate is at 45% and it’s hoped that we will achieve a national recycling rate of 50% by 2020. Paying per kg is an incentive for people to become more aware of the waste they produce and save money by cutting down on it.

16/2/2012 Greyhound Waste Collections Source: Sasko Lazarov/RollingNews.ie

Why will the bins have microchips?

The bins will be fitted with microchips which will log the weight of the bins to the customer. The only details contained in these microchips will be the customer name and address.

And what’s all this about black bags?

You can only use them if you’re living in an area that’s been selected as being suitable for the collection of waste in non-reusable bags.

What if I don’t have a bin service provider?

People who don’t use bin collection services may be required to show that they are managing their waste responsibly.

I’m living in a block of private apartments/local authority unit with communal bins, how will this affect me?

It’s unlikely that each tenant’s waste will be weighed. The waste services are usually paid for by a management company or local authority. The multi-occupancy spaces’ waste will be weighed as a total.

Still have more questions? Leave them in the comments below.

 Read: Pay-by-weight charges for green bins scrapped

Read: Irish Water fined after polluting river in Cavan

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About the author:

Roisin Nestor

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