Pay-by-weight waste fees plan delayed again

Plans to phase out flat-rate waste collection fees are delayed once again, and will not come into force until the autumn. However, the 12-month price-freeze agreed with the waste collection industry will expire as planned tomorrow.

It was understood that as of July 1 those on flat-rate contracts with their waste collection company would not be able to renew that deal, and instead would have to switch to a pay-by-weight or per-lift contract.

However, yesterday a Department of Environment spokesperson said this new framework is unlikely to be in place until September. The department said the new policy will have to be circulated by the National Waste Collection Permit Office to local authorities which regulate the service: “The National Waste Collection Permit Office will review the new circular in order to determine how the new policy is applied to the permit system. I would expect this process to be completed by end-July/early-August.

“Then the National Waste Collection Permit Office will start the process of writing to the waste collection permit holders informing them of the changes. It said the office will provide sufficient time to the permit holders to allow them to make administrative changes and changes to their systems and to notify their customers.

“It is at this point that the regulatory flat-rate phase-out on expiring contract or new contracts would take effect. Thereafter, as people’s contracts expire over the subsequent 12 months, a flat-rate service will no longer be offered,” the department said. The incentivised framework was due to be introduced last year but was suspended for a year after complaints that waste collection companies were raising prices in anticipation of the new scheme.

The prize freeze, which expires tomorrow, was brought in at the same time.

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