Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Questions (438)

Eoin Ó Broin


438. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment his views on the recent decision by a number of domestic bin collection companies to increase their annual standing charge and lift charge; the steps he plans to take to ensure that those on low incomes including pensioners are protected from such unregulated price increases; and the steps he is taking to see the return of the service to local authorities. [46134/19]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

As Minister, I have no role in setting price levels.

Since mid-2017, a range of charging options have operated, which encourage householders to reduce and separate their waste. This provides flexibility to waste collectors to develop various service-price offerings that suit different household circumstances. A Price Monitoring Group (PMG) was established in mid-2017 to monitor the on-going cost of residential waste collection to homeowners across Ireland as the ‘flat-rate structure’ was being phased out. While fluctuations in prices and service offerings have been observed, the overall trend has been relative price stability.

Under the Waste Management Act 1996 local authorities are required to collect, or arrange for the collection of, household waste within their functional areas. It is always open to each local authority to re-enter the market on a commercial basis where they have concerns around cost, quality of service or competition.

Under section 60(3) of the Waste Management Act 1996, as Minister, I am precluded from exercising any power or control in relation to the performance by a local authority, in particular circumstances, of a statutory function vested in it.

A full public consultation on Ireland’s new Waste Policy in a Circular Economy will be launched before the end of this year which will seek views on all matters waste related. This will inform the development of future national waste management policy, including our environmental goals, regulatory and market structures, and relevant policy instruments and tools.