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Waste Management.

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 25 April 2006

Tuesday, 25 April 2006

Questions (917)

Barry Andrews

Question:

961 Mr. Andrews asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if he will make a statement on a review of the waste collection permit regulations and, in particular, the great disparity in charging regimes between different local authorities, some of which take into account ability to pay and other issues in creating a range of charges. [14598/06]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government)

Section 34(1) of the Waste Management Act requires that any person, other than a local authority, who is collecting waste for the purposes of reward, with a view to profit or otherwise in the course of business must obtain a waste collection permit from the relevant local authority. The fee payable in respect of an application for a collection permit is set down in article 7(3)(e) of the Waste Management (Collection Permit) Regulations 2001 as €1,200 or €380 in the case of collection solely of waste oils.

Local authorities have absolute discretion under Article 7(4) of the Waste Management (Collection Permit) Regulations 2001 to refund or waive all or part of the fee payable in respect of a particular permit application in cases where they are satisfied that the payment of the full fee would not be just and reasonable having regard to the limited scale or nature of the activity to which the application relates. The consideration of waste permit applications and the decision-making process on the granting of waste collection permits, as well as ensuring compliance with the requirements of the regulations, is a matter for the local authority in whose functional area the activity will take place. My Department is precluded by law from becoming involved in individual permit applications or in the granting of waivers or refunds in respect of permit application fees.

Last summer, I issued draft collection permit regulations along with draft facility permit regulations for public consultation. My Department received in excess of 50 detailed submissions on the draft regulations and these are being reviewed for the purposes of making appropriate amendments. I hope to be in a position to issue revised waste collection permit regulations in the near future.

With regard to the general issue of waste charges levied for waste collection services, the present legal framework determined by the Oireachtas reflects the fact that waste management services have traditionally been provided at a local level with individual arrangements being locally determined and tailored to local circumstances. In accordance with section 52 of the Protection of the Environment Act 2003, the determination of waste management charges and the provision of waivers are both matters for the relevant local authority where it acts as a service provider. Similarly, where a private operator provides the collection service, it is a matter for that operator to determine charges. My Department has no function in either the setting of charges or the provision of waivers.

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