Homeowners are unlikely to face significant changes to their bin charges before the end of the year, according to Communications Minister Denis Naughten.
Speaking in Croke Park ahead of the introduction of the new bin charges regime in September, Mr Naughten said bin operators have been contacting customers in recent weeks to advise them of potential changes to charges.
He said bin operators will not be allowed to hike prices.
“Well, I know my own bin company — Barna Waste in Galway — sent me a text message in early July telling me that there was going to be no increase between now and the end of the year,” he said.
“I know that quite a number of other customers have been contacted in Dublin as well during July and August. So quite a lot of people have been contacted by their bin operator to let them know what changes are coming in.
“Changes came in or they were allowed to come in from July 1. Naturally enough people would have to be given notice in relation to that. But the feedback that we have had in the department is that there aren’t significant changes being proposed by the operators.”
Mr Naughten said the impact on homeowners is being closely monitored by his officials and he warned operators that he would not tolerate any opportunistic moves to hike prices.
“But it is something that we’re monitoring very closely and we have made it quite clear to the industry that we will be keeping a very close eye on this. Of course we have the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission now looking at this also and I’m looking forward to the reporting back from them of any changes in that,” he said.
Asked whether he intends to publish the reports from the commission, Mr Naughten said that he would.
“As far as I know, they will be reporting back on a monthly basis and it would be my intention to publish that information,” he said.
A ban on fixed-price waste collection was introduced by the Government in July to encourage recycling and reduce the amount of rubbish.
Opposition parties have said there are fears it will mean higher bills for households.
Waste companies will still be allowed to apply standing charges, but they will also have to contain a usage element such as pay by weight or pay per lift.
The change is believed to affect up to 600,000 customers, mainly in the Dublin area, who pay a fixed monthly fee, sometimes around €17 a month, for all waste collection. There will be a subvention scheme worth €75 a year per person for incontinence pads.
Fianna Fáil TD John Curran said there are concerns that the new system could see big price increases for customers.
The waste industry had agreed to a 12-month price freeze, which ended on July 1.
Green Party leader Eamon Ryan welcomed the pay by weight and polluter pays principle, but said the Government needs to make it easier for people to do “the right thing”.
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