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Friday 2 December 2016

Explained: What you need to know about the new pay-by-weight bin charges

Published 17/06/2016 | 14:02

Wheelie bins (Stock image)
Wheelie bins (Stock image)

A new pay-by-weight waste collection is set to be launched on July 1st, but some of the new changes have left consumers confused.

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Here are the seven things you need to know about the new system:

1. What is changing?

At the moment people pay waste collection in various ways including flat fees, pay-per-collection and pay-by-weight.

Under the new system there will be a flat-rate charge set out by your bin company plus a charge for every kilogramme of waste produced.

2. Why is this being done?

The new pay-by-weight system was introduced by the Government with the hope it will lead to a 25pc reduction in waste going to landfill sites.

The new system is considered the best way to encourage recycling because the more waste you produce the more you pay.

It is estimated that 440,000 tonnes a year could be diverted from landfill under the new system.

3. How will I be affected?

The charges set out are as follows:

·    11 cent per kilogram for a black bin for residual waste.

·    6 cent per kilogram for the brown bin for organic waste.

·    Zero cent per kilogram for green bins.

Plus the flat-rate charge for the year set out by your bin company.

4. Why are people complaining?

While the new system is supposed to reduce bin fees, many households have said that they will see a huge increase in their waste collection fees.

Greyhound is set to increase its fees from €59.95 to €169 per a year. Fees for Thorntons customers will also rise, from €50 to €104, with similar rates to Greyhound for black and grey bin waste. Panda have informed their customers that their service charge will be down to €86 from the current service charge of €110. However, there will be a €3.20 lift charge for black bins and a €2.56 lift charge for brown bins with Panda. The green bins will have no charges.

Larger households are faced with higher charges as they will have more waste.

5. Are there any exemptions?

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).

It is unknown if families caring for a person with a disability will be given exemptions.

6. How can I tell how much waste I produce?

Companies have been obliged to inform households of the amount of waste generated either online or by request.

The Department of the Environment said a typical household will have around 600kg of black, 200kg of brown and 200kg of green bin waste a year.

7. 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.

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