REDUCING the amount of waste you produce will help save you money, but finding out what bin companies operate in your area can take a bit of detective work.
The first port of call should be your local authority, which should be able to advise on what companies operate in your area.
Failing that, check your local paper which often carries the best deals on offer, or do an internet search.
Switching may not yield enormous savings, but it’s certainly worth the price of a few phone calls.
While prices are generally offered online, sometimes it’s worth picking up the phone to see what the best deal is being offered. Some companies will match their nearest competitor to get you on board.
Switching should require no more than passing on your details and preferred payment method, and advising your existing provider that you no longer require a service.
But beware — the price you pay depends on the type of service you require.
A bigger bin will cost more than a smaller, and some companies will, for example, offer extra services such as glass collection which may not be necessary for all households.
Frequency of collection can also dictate price, so be clear on what you want and need. Comparing prices on the websites of two companies operating in Kildare — AES, which is part of Bord na Mona, and Thornton’s — indicates the differences.
Thornton’s offers a flat-rate charge of €285-a-year for new customers. Bins are collected every two weeks.
AES offers a flat-charge of €330, or €294 if you sign-up online, but it also offers glass collection.
The question to ask is whether the glass collection service is worth the extra cost per year?
If you pay-per-lift, Thornton’s will charge an annual fee of €50, plus €9 every time your black bin for general waste is collected and €4.50 for a brown bin where organic waste from the kitchen is stored.
There’s no charge for recyclable waste such as paper. In addition, if you top your account up online, you get a 3pc bonus credit.
For AES, there’s a six-month service fee of €79, or €158 per year.
Their lift charge is cheaper. Each lift of their green bin for general waste costs €7.50, while the brown bin for organic waste costs €4. Again, there’s no charge for recyclable waste, nor for glass. In general, the more you recycle the less you pay. But only by having a clear idea as to how often you want your bins collected, will get you the best deal.
Decide what services you need — do you recycle or rely on the black bin for most of your waste? Do you require a glass collection?
Examine how often you put out your bins — do you need a collection every two weeks, or every week? Are your bins full, or half empty? If the latter, you don’t need a weekly service.
Contact your local authority to find the companies working in your area. Alternatively, look at the National Waste Collection Permit Office ( www.nwcpo.ie) for a list of firms licensed to collect in your area.
Check the websites of the bin companies. But also call to see if any are offering special deals for signing up online, or paying by direct debit.
Pit the companies against each other to secure the best price. Some companies offer incentives for new customers — ask your existing provider if you can avail of these deals.
Potential Saving: €20/30 P.A.
Total time: 50 mins