Explained: All you need to know about the pay-by-weight bin charges coming into force
A pay-by-weight waste collection system is set to be launched this summer, but some aspects of the plan have left customers confused.
Here are the five things you need to know about the new regime:
What is it?
At the moment, people pay waste collection by a variety of means, including flat fees, pay-per-collection and pay-by-weight.
In an attempt to encourage recycling and the separation of waste materials, bin charges will now be calculated by weight, and waste companies will no longer be allowed to charge an annual flat rate to customers.
The Department of the Environment estimates that the legislation will lead to a 25pc reduction in waste going to landfill sites.
When will it be introduced?
The pay-by-weight charge will come into force on July 1, 2016.
How does it work?
It is unclear exactly how much people will pay for bin collection, as varying household size, service fees for providers and home addresses will contribute to the cost. The full charges are due to be announced at the start of June, but the minimum charges set by the Department will work out as follows:
- Residual household waste (black or grey bin): 11 cent per kg
- Food waste (brown bin): 6 cent per kg
The government initially planned an additional charge for recycling or ‘green’ bin waste.
However, following a campaign by the Green Party, Housing, Planning and Local Government Minister Simon Coveney announced today that the charge would not be applied when the new collection system comes into effect.
Will it affect everyone?
While the pay-by-weight system applies nationwide, there will be a few exemptions made for those living in areas where the landscape prevents collection of wheelie bins (for example, if the access way is too narrow or too steep) or where there is a lack of storage space (for example, in terraced houses with no yards or gardens).
“The areas will be determined by local authorities in accordance with guidelines issued by the Department. In these cases, the bags will be exempt from the weight requirements,” a spokesperson for the Department of the Environment said in a statement.
Will we be better off?
The Department of the Environment have said that the majority (87pc) of households will save money with a pay-by-weight system in place, as those with four people or less will pay lower charges.
A household with five people (8.8pc of the total) is expected to pay approximately the same under pay-by-weight charges as they would under a flat fee or a pay-by-collection system.
However, those with six or more persons (4.5pc of the total, or more than 74,000 people) are likely to see an increase in their costs.