Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Timmy Dooley has said that the proposed new bin charging regime must be frozen pending the establishment of an independent waste regulator.
Deputy Dooley was commenting after Minister Naughten’s announcement that from July 1 waste collection operators will be allowed to provide either pay by weight or pay by lift services all over the country.
“There is deep unease and concern right across the country, in both urban and rural communities that this change will lead to rocketing prices. This is of special concern to consumers who are on fixed incomes or those who have considerable waste output as a result of medical concerns.
“Many feel that the current offer of €75 per year for people with excessive waste usage due to medical issues is too low. Minister Naughten must explain how this level of support was calculated, and should, we believe, ensure that hard pressed families with a large number of children can avail of state support.
“These groups are already struggling financially, and this new regime should not add to their financial concerns.
“A Waste Regulator is desperately needed to ensure that there is no price gouging and fixing in the industry, and to ensure that consumers have a body to complain to if they have issues with their operator.
“Many consumers are concerned that they will not have the right information about their own waste usage to make an informed decision as to which option to take.
“We believe that as a sign of good faith by the waste operators, consumers should be provided with a breakdown of all options available to them showing them which would result in the lowest cost to them. This would show to consumers that operators are not using this change in system to simply increase profits.
“Minister Naughten must ensure that there is consumer buy in to this scheme, otherwise he risks seeing further increases in the number of instances of fly tipping in our communities. He should engage more on these issues and work with to deliver a system that is fair and transparent,” concluded Dooley.