Tuesday 23 January 2018

Bin charges would have been over €300

By Amy Lewis

Rubbish bins ready for collection.
Rubbish bins ready for collection.

A definitive answer on the future of pay-by-weight bin charges remains up in the air following widespread concern about price hikes by service providers.

The roll out of waste prices from service providers was met with strong opposition last week, with a number of TDs saying that the companies were operating ‘a cartel’. Following a meeting with waste management companies last Friday and further talks yesterday, Minister Simon Coveney is due to brief the cabinet and media on the matter today. He is expected to propose freezing the charges for 12 months in a bid to examine matters further.

However an AAA-PBP private member’s motion will come before the Dail today (Tuesday) calling for an immediate ministerial order to prevent companies increasing charges. In a separate motion tomorrow Sinn Fein will call for a complete abolition of the charges.

Under the pay-by-weight system, the average Wexford household is expected to pay over €300 a year for their waste based on an estimated annual household waste weight of 600 kg.

Ray Whelan came out the cheapest of the bunch in Wexford, with an estimated cost of €306 per year per average household. This is based on their charges of €14 monthly flat fee for collection and a price of 23 cent per kilo of waste. Compost has not been included in this estimate but at 16 cent per kilo, it is obvious that more recycling would result in a price reduction.

Next up is Greenstar, who are charging 25 cent per kilo for general waste on their billpay plan and 35 cent per kilo on their prepay plan. Their service charge is €14.50 per month (billpay) and €10 (prepay). Compost will cost 15 cent per kilo. Based on the 600 kg waste average, a household opting for the billpay option will pay €324, while those who choose prepay will pay €330 per year.

AES costs are almost equal to the latter. The standard price plan (for families of four or more) has a €180 annual service charge, a 25 cent waste charge and 15 cent compost charge. Based on the estimates, a family will pay €330 per year. Their basic plan for individuals or couples has an annual flat service charge of €120, a 35 cent waste charge and a 20 cent compost charge. The proposed new system has stirred up concern over an increase in illegal dumping around the county. Speaking during a discussion about illegal dumping at this week’s Wexford Borough Council meeting, Cllr Davy Hynes said that he expects the problem to worsen should the charges come into effect.

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