Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Questions (487)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

487. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the reason the ceiling on refuse collection charges was lifted in November 2018; the oversight and monitoring systems in place to ensure that consumers are paying a reasonable price for the service and that prices are consistent. [16047/19]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

The waste management market in Ireland is serviced by private companies, where prices charged are a contract matter between those companies and their customers. My role as Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment is to ensure that the waste management market is operating in compliance with relevant environmental legislation. With regard to the charges applied for kerbside household waste collection, the charges applied should encourage householders to divert waste from the residual or general waste bin. To further encourage this practice, 'flat-rate fees' for household waste collection were phased out over the period October 2017 to October 2018. In other words, the pricing structure that least incentivises diversion of waste from landfill has been phased out. As Minister, I have no role in setting price levels.

Notwithstanding the above, the Price Monitoring Group (PMG) was established to monitor the rates charged by waste collectors during the phase out of flat-rate fees. It has found that there a number of different pricing models available in the market including various combinations of service charge, charge per bin lift, charge per kilogramme of weight and weight allowance. The PMG has considered data each month since September 2017 and has indicated that, in the vast majority of cases to date, charges have remained stable. Detailed data on price offerings is available on www.dccae.gov.ie and on www.mywaste.ie.

A 'ceiling on refuse collection charges' as referenced in the question was neither in place to begin with nor removed.