Joe Leogue answers to the key questions on the new bin charges.
Q. What’s going on with bin charges?
A. Environment Minister Denis Naughten has announced that the Government has approved “a more flexible framework for waste collection charges”, meaning waste collectors can offer a range of ways to pay for a bin service.
Q. Such as?
A. The Government says the new framework will allow collectors to offer customers contracts that will include combinations of standing charges, along with charges per-lift, per-kilogramme, weight-bands, and weight allowances.
This means flat-rate charging for household waste will be phased out.
Q. I pay a flat rate, what does this mean for me?
A. If you are currently under contract, the changes will not affect you until that contract comes to an end. After that, however, you will not be able to get a new flat-rate deal and will have to sign up for a deal that charges you based on the weight of your bins, or the number of times your bin is collected.
Q. Are there any relief measures or allowances provided?
A. Only for those with lifelong or long-term medical incontinence, who will receive an annual support of €75.
Q. Bottom line: Will this cost me more?
A. It would be hard to see how there could be a reduction in costs. There are a number of variables ensuring each waste bill will differ on a case-by-case basis, such as whether you are on a flat rate or already paying by weight, a heavy recycler, separating waste between brown organic waste and food bin, recycle bin or waste bin. It’s all going to impact on your bill.
Q. What about the waste management companies, what have they to say about all this?
A. So far, very little. The Irish Examiner contacted a number of collection companies to ask them what system they will adopt under the new framework, and how much they will charge. Not one replied by the time of going to press. Given the new framework is due to come into effect on Saturday, we won’t have to wait long to see how much these new options will cost each household.
We also contacted the trade body representing the bin companies, the Irish Waste Management Association, who said it did not have a spokesperson available to answer our queries.
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