Almost 90% of Irish households will see their waste bills reduced with the introduction of pay-by-weight from July this year Minister Kelly outlined today (1 Feb. 2016)
The move, which sees householders move away from paying a flat-fee or pay per collection basis, will compel collectors to introduce a charging system that promotes greater segregation of waste, improves recycling and allows householders to save on their bills.
Currently some householders are charged a collection rate that compensates collectors for each green/brown bin collected. Even where there isn’t a direct charge for green/brown bin, the cost of this service is priced into the overall charge.
While some people might think that this will mean that they are to be charged for the first time for the recycling bin, the reality is that all households have always been charged in some way for this service. Where a collector offered this bin at a zero charge, the true price was reflected in higher residual waste charges. In other words, the recycling bin was paid for by hidden cross-subsidisation. Under the new system there will be no such hidden costs and customers will have clear sight of how the weight of waste they generate translates into cost. Weigh less, pay less is the simple maxim.
The introduction of pay-by-weight in certain parts of the country has seen households bills reduced while recycling levels increase.
“The message is, the more you put into your green and brown bins, the less you pay. Its better for the environment and the more we can use waste as a resource for energy, remake plastic materials and develop an effective and efficient waste sector,”
“PBW is the most effective waste prevention mechanism we have. Diversion from landfill will likely grow by as much as 35% or 440,000 tonnes. Meanwhile we expect recycling levels to increase by over 30% and put into a much more productive use under the new system,”
Analysis using EPA and CSO data will show that 87% of households will see a reduction in their waste bills, 8.5% will see no change and a small number of households may see a higher bill – but with proper awareness and segregation, the potential is for everyone to see a reduced bill.
Pay-by-weight for domestic waste became operational in July 2015 with collection companies having their collection vehicles collecting PBW data per household since then. An information campaign to inform customers will kick off shortly.
The move is part of a further package of reforms of the waste sector including a ban on below cost selling of waste, new mandatory customer charters for waste companies and greater powers of enforcement for local authorities to enforce the new regime.