IWMA’s Walsh: ‘Companies will lose a lot of money’ on agreed waste price freeze

IWMA’s Walsh: ‘Companies will lose a lot of money’ on agreed waste price freeze

Update 11.35am: Waste companies have agreed a 12-month price freeze on waste charges after negotiations with Environment Minister Simon Coveney, writes Elaine Loughlin, Irish Examiner Political Reporter.

However, the Government could still face the threat of a legal challenge as a number of the major bin companies are not members of the association which has agreed the freeze.

Conor Walsh secretary of the Irish Waste Management Association this morning said: “I can’t say whether any individual company might legally challenge it.

“But I know that our members, we met for three hours yesterday and none of them talked about a legal challenge, I would be confident that our members wouldn't challenge it.

“In Dublin city in particular, Greyhound and City Bin are not members so I can't speak for them.”

He added: “We have offered a price freeze on waste collection for the next 12-months, what we are looking for is a smooth transition into pay-by-weight.

“It will be everyone because it will be regulation, this is what we are offering as an association and we are happy to go along with this.

“It will be a lot of pain on our members, this won’t account for the fact that diesel is likely to go up, that salaries could go up, the price of recyclables has gone down. We are taking a big hit on this.

“The companies will lose a lot of money on this,” he told RTÉ's Sean O'Rouke programme.

Mr Coveney is bringing proposals on the pay-by-weight system to Cabinet this morning which include deferring the roll-out of the charging scheme by 12-months while the price freeze is in place.

However, from July 1 customers will receive a duel bill which will also include the pay-by-weight charge.

Householders will then have the option of opting into the new system in six months time if they wish.

Mr Walsh said, “There will be winners and losers and that's the way it is” when the pay-by-weight system is fully introduced in a year's time.

IWMA’s Walsh: ‘Companies will lose a lot of money’ on agreed waste price freeze

Earlier: A representative group for waste management companies has said they have agreed to freeze bin charges.

The Irish Waste Management Association [IWMA] has said it is in a bid to alleviate consumer concerns about pricing.

IWMA member companies have committed to freezing prices at current rates for a 12-month period from 20th June 2016 to 1 July 2017. This means that no householder disposing the same quantities of waste will face any additional charges during the first 12 months of Pay By Weight.

During this 12-month transition period waste companies will provide a cost comparison to their customers that will show the amount of waste they are disposing, their current costs and the equivalent Pay By Weight Charges.

Providing this cost comparison will help householders better understand how waste charges are calculated. They will be able to see how recycling more can reduce their annual charges.

It comes as Minister Simon Coveney is expected to unveil a plan to deal with the controversy around the new pay by weight system today.

Minister Coveney met with the Attorney General last night to seek legal advice on whether or not he can prevent a price hike.

Waste Contractors who are members of the Irish Waste Management Association have also agreed to provide a weight allowance to HSE patients supplied with incontinence wear to reduce their annual waste charges.

IWMA members are committed to an arrangement whereby the additional weight attributed to non-infancy incontinence wear will be collected free of charge.

In a statement released by the The Irish Waste Management Association (IWMA) and its member they have stated that the companies remain committed to supporting Government Policy in the introduction of Pay By Weight waste collection services.

Responsible waste operators have made the necessary investment to meet their obligations under the Government introduced regulations and the industry will continue to work with Government to ensure its successful introduction.


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