Irish government mulls regulator for waste industry

The government of Ireland is looking to set up a regulator for the domestic waste industry. This is being considered as one of the options to prevent increases in household collection charges.,

Simon Coveney, the country’s Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, said that a regulator would make sure that homes do not pay more for collections during the transition to the new pay-by-weight system.

Mr. Coveney and waste company representatives are negotiating on the issue.

Although the industry has claimed that about 87% of households will pay less, there has been anecdotal evidence of some firms imposing steep increases in standing charges.

“I am still talking to industry,” said Mr. Coveney, adding that “I am making it very clear to them that if we don’t get what I believe to be necessary and politically saleable, we will have to look at a different approach that might involve a regulator.”

Mr. Coveney said that some waste management companies would bear a cost under the arrangement. At the same time, the Government has insisted that householders should pay no more that they currently do.

The new pay-by-weight system is due to commence on July 1. Mr. Coveney has proposed a transition period of 12 months with a cap on charges before the full pay-by-weight system is introduced.

Barry Cowen, housing and planning spokesman of Ireland’s main opposition party Fianna Fáil, said that he will bring forward a proposal to Cabinet that will have the effect of capping the charges at the current level.

It is anticipated that primary legislation will be required to give effect to it, even if agreement is reached with the industry.


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