Bin firms face threat of charges cap

Bin operators face a threat of their charges being capped or a new charging regime being postponed as the Government moves to calm anxieties over pay-by-weight refuse collections.

Waste collectors were summoned to a meeting with Housing Minister Simon Coveney last night with the threat of fresh regulation being introduced if consumers are hit with higher bin costs.

The Irish Examiner understands the Government is considering a cap for charges and fresh regulation in a bid to stop waste collectors hiking their charges.

There is growing confusion among households over new pay-by-weight rules which come into effect in a fortnight where kerbside collections will be charged on a per-kg weight basis.

Mr Coveney has pledged that the new rules, passed by his predecessor Alan Kelly, will not see consumers having to pay more.

The new collection fees on black and brown bins are to be introduced but there is concern regarding hikes in annual flat-rate service fees.

The Dáil heard claims this week that bin costs for some families will treble, possibly rising by hundreds of euro a year.

Greyhound and Thorntons Recycling were among the firms mentioned by TDs, who suggested a cartel-style operation was in effect in Dublin.

Thorntons Recycling has replaced its €50-a-year standing charge with a weekly €2 service charge. Customers will now pay €104 annually in service charges — double the amount paid previously, the Dáil heard.

TDs said Greyhound has replaced its standing charge of €50 a year with a €3 a week service charge, effectively trebling the bill.

Mr Coveney last night met companies who are members of the Irish Waste Management Association as well as Greyhound.

Speaking beforehand, he said: “I want to make sure the spirit of the regulation, which is about offering families the choice to reduce their bills by managing their waste more effectively, that that actually happens rather than the alternative, which may be that companies may be using the opportunity or the confusion around that to increase charges.”

The Government is expected to seek advice from the attorney general about what actions it can take ahead of the new charging regime on July 1.

One option could be to postpone the new collection system or to apply a cap on charges.

The Government is expected to set out the options next week.


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