Reprieve for public on waste charges

Householders in Co. Roscommon will face no increased waste charges for a year and the full introduction of a pay-by-weight system has been postponed after an 11th-hour climbdown from the Government.

  A pay-by-weight system for waste disposal was to begin countrywide from July 1st, but Taoiseach Enda Kenny said that, to “diffuse the political storm” that had arisen, a compromise was reached.

  The Irish Waste Management Association (IWTA), which represents the majority of waste companies, outlined the agreement reached.

  “IWMA member companies commit to freezing prices at current rates for a 12-month period from June 20, 2016, to July 1st, 2017,” a spokesperson said.

  “This means that no housholder disposing the same quantities of waste will face any additional charges during the first 12 months of pay-by-weight.

  “During this 12-month transition period, waste companies will provide a cost-comparison to their customers that will show the amount of waste they are disposing, their current costs and the equivalent pay-by-weight charges.”

  Simon Coveney, the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, led the discussions with waste-management groups.

  However, Denis Naughten, the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, is set to become responsible for waste matters in the coming months, as the departments are being realigned.

  Speaking to the Roscommon People, Minister Naughten welcomed the agreement reached.

  “The reality is we couldn’t implement the pay-by-weight charges from July 1st,” he said. “There had been very little effort to try to explain to people what this was about. This transition period should have taken place before this.”

  Minister Naughten said that the objective behind pay-by-weight was to reduce the amount of waste going into landfill sites and to encourage more recycling.

  “it is not about bringing in any new taxes or increasing charges,” he said.