Fianna Fáil TD, John Curran says the Government must take steps to avoid a return to the drastic price increases in household waste management bills. It is now exactly 12 months since the introduction of a pay by weight system for disposal of waste.

Deputy Curran received information through a parliamentary question that the Minister for the Environment has confirmed that a voluntary agreement entered into with stakeholders from the waste disposal industry will expire on July 1st 2017. There is now major concern that Minister Naughten may not be intervening to protect households from a hike in bill.

The Deputy commented, “When the pay-by-weight system for bin charges was initially proposed 18 months ago, the then Minister, Alan Kelly was adamant that the new regime would result in 87% of households experiencing a reduction in their waste bills.

“However, soon after this announcement we all heard of many examples of massive increases in bills despite no change in service,” Deputy Curran added.

“As people were angered by the increases last summer, a voluntary agreement was entered into with providers in the industry. This agreement provided for a comprehensive assessment of the planned introduction of a pay-by-weight charging system. A year on and still no tangible solution has been found, while the agreement itself is due to expire in 2 weeks’ time.

“There is now a growing sense of fear and frustration amongst families in relation to the possibility of these charges being re-introduced under their noses.

“I expressed my concerns directly with the Minister earlier this week and pressed on the need to negotiate with waste management companies to ensure that there is full transparency and fair competition for consumers.

“The bottom line is that every measure necessary must be explored in order to avoid re-visiting massive increases in bills for families” concluded Deputy Curran.