Gerry O’Brien, who is father to a 30-year-old man with severe cerebral palsy, has raised concerns over the cost of disposing of his son’s 30 nappies a week when the pay-by-weight regulations come in on July 1.

Refuse companies around the country will implement the pay-by-weight rules from the beginning of next month.

The Government sets out a minimum fee for a black bin (residual waste) of 11c per kilo, 6c per kilo for a brown bin (organic waste) and 0c for a green bin (recyclable waste).

However, issues have arisen over cost as each refuse provider sets their own fee.

“It is of course still up to companies to set charges at the level they consider to be competitive. Householders will be able to compare the charges more easily under the new system and choose the option that suits them best or is most cost effective,” reads a briefing document from the Department of Environment.

“My situation is that I put 30 nappies on my son a week, that’s 1,500 nappies a year,” said Mr O’Brien, from Douglas, in Cork City.

He does not know what price he will be charged per kilo by his refuse company. He estimates that he disposes of 600kg of nappies per year. He raised the issue on RTÉ Radio One’s Liveline yesterday afternoon.

“They [refuse provider] haven’t set any prices [yet],” he said.

He approached Fianna Fáil TD for Cork south-central, Michael McGrath.

Mr McGrath queried Environment Minister Simon Coveney, if any exemptions were in place for households where a person with a disability needed to dispose of more waste.

“My department has met with groups who represent persons with special needs to discuss and explore the impact of pay-by-weight charging on households with special needs.

“My department has also been in consultation with the HSE and the waste management industry to discuss the issue and to try to find a workable and fair solution to this important matter.

“Notwithstanding the complexity of the issues involved, I am hopeful that a number of possible solutions, which are currently being explored as a matter of urgency, can address these difficult issues,” Mr Coveney said.

However, Mr O’Brien is still unsure of what the cost per kilo will be when the new system comes into place on July 1.

“I thought the Government was going to be dealing with it, it’s getting so near now,” he said.

“At the moment I’m paid up until October, what’s going to happen in the meantime I don’t know, I can’t get an answer off anyone,” he added.

The Irish Examiner asked Mr O’Brien’s refuse provider about the fee per kilo they were planning to charge, but they did not respond at the time of going to print.

Not all refuse companies have set out their pay-by-weight fees.


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