I thank the CCPC for the significant body of work it has carried out in this report. The findings of this report clearly support the policy decision that I took to introduce an incentivised pricing model by abolishing flat-rate fees, rather than a blanket pay-by-kilogram system proposed previously. The report notes that it took 19 years for a policy to be implemented to abolish flat-rate fee structures.
The report shows that waste collection costs are between 63 cent and 77 cent per day and only 6% of people cited cost as a reason for not having their waste collected. Furthermore, the CCPC acknowledges the work of the price monitoring group, PMG, which I established in July 2017 to monitor prices for consumers offered by the waste sector and to provide oversight of the industry as flat fees were being phased out. It confirms that consumers have seen price stability across the sector over the past 12 months with no evidence of price gouging.
It is important to be clear that, as a country, we have zero spare capacity in our landfills today. We are now on the verge of an emergency situation with nowhere for any extra waste to go. The ban on flat-rate fees was necessary to incentivise householders to recycle and compost more and to send less waste to landfill. We have invested €3 million in education and awareness in relation to what goes into one's recycling bin and how to use one's brown bin effectively.
I welcome the fact that the CCPC does not call for a one-size-fits-all regulatory approach and that, based on data collection and consultation, different competition models can be introduced for different geographic areas. The nature of the market is complex, as both the CCPC and the PMG have identified. Therefore, the findings of this CCPC report must be studied with care and diligence to ensure consumer well-being is protected and our environmental goals are met. The hybrid model suggested could help to extend the coverage of door-to-door collections nationwide, while ensuring value for money for the householder and providing certainty for investment by the waste sector.
This report, combined with the ongoing work of the PMG, and the finalisation of the European circular economy waste and plastics legislation framework, will inform the development of a future waste management policy, including our environmental goals, regulatory and market structures, and policy instruments and tools.