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Bin charge 'should be based on weight'

FLAT-fee bin charges should be replaced with a pay-by-weight system for all households to encourage more recycling, the EPA says.

Many homes pay an annual flat fee, which has resulted in too much waste being sent to landfill. But space is running out and 15 of the 28 landfill facilities will be full in just three years' time.

It also says facilities to treat waste are "absent" in some regions.

"Weight-based charging, especially for the residual or black bin, is not well developed across the State," it says. "Extending the use of weight-based charging would incentive householders to increase the separation of waste at source."

While Ireland has met its landfill targets for 2010, "sustained effort" is needed to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill to avoid EU fines. Recycling rates are above EU averages, but we are missing targets to properly dispose of old cars.

The report also says that the amount of waste per person has fallen by 22pc since 2006, down to 621kg from 800kg.

Irish Independent