Waste firms to face fines for bad service
Waste companies will be hit with on-the-spot fines and have their licences reviewed if they fail to provide a high-quality service to customers.
The move is part of changes to waste policy coming into force from July 1, which will eliminate flat-rate bin charges and instead charge customers on the basis of how much waste they produce.
The changes will involve a higher charge per kilogramme of so-called 'black bin' waste being produced. This waste is sent to landfill. Lower charges will be imposed for 'brown' or compostable waste, and 'green' recycling waste, including paper and plastics.
The changes include a requirement for waste collection companies to register details of customers with local authorities. This is to eliminate cases of illegal dumping and ensure waste is properly disposed of.
In addition, companies risk fines of up to €2,000 and a review of their licence if they change collection fees without consultation, fail to collect rubbish on days specified to customers or ignore customer care charters.
Environment Minister Alan Kelly told the Irish Waste Management Conference that the changes would give customers "control" over their bills; would encourage recycling; and result in better service from companies.
Research showed that pay by weight was the "single most effective charging system" in terms of reducing landfill waste, and companies would not be allowed charge less than disposal costs.
"The simple message is the less your bins weigh, the less you will pay," he added.