Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Ceisteanna (483)

Michael Lowry


483. Deputy Michael Lowry asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment when the allowance of €75 for households with medical waste will come into effect; the way in which persons will apply for the allowance; the documentation that will be required; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21131/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

In line with the commitments set out in A Resource Opportunity - Waste Management Policy in Ireland, published in 2012, and in the interest of encouraging further waste prevention and greater recycling, flat-rate fees for kerbside household waste collection are being phased out over the period autumn 2017 to autumn 2018, as customers contracts come up for renewal. The necessary regulatory steps have been put in place to give effect to this measure.

It is worth noting that this measure is not ‘new’ for about half of kerbside household waste customers, who are already on an incentivised usage pricing plan, i.e., a plan which contains a per lift or a weight related fee.

As announced in mid-2017, mandatory per kilogramme 'pay by weight' charging is not being introduced. Allowing for a range of charging options, which encourage householders to reduce and separate their waste, provides flexibility to waste collectors to develop various service-price offerings that suit different household circumstances.

The Price Monitoring Group has considered seven months of data to date. While fluctuations in prices and service offerings have been observed, the overall trend is relative price stability. The Price Monitoring Group has reported that there are currently 9 different types of price models on the market. The main price examples include a service charge plus charge per bin lift, with an excess per kg charge, and a service charge plus per kg weight charge. The most popular service offering now is the ‘service charge including weight allowance, plus per kg charge for excess above allowance’.

An annual support of €75 per person is being made available for persons with lifelong or long-term medical incontinence. This will help people meet the average annual cost for the disposal of medical incontinence products. My Department is currently in discussion with the Department of Health and the Health Service Executive to finalise the administrative details and arrangements of the support, as well as engaging with the relevant patient stakeholders. I can assure the Deputy that I am committed to finalising the details for this support as soon as possible.