Tuesday, 18 October 2011
Dáil Éireann Debate
332. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government his plans to introduce franchise bidding to the waste sector here; if his attention has been drawn to the implications such an approach will have on employment, on consumer choice and on costs to businesses and the consumers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29619/11]
340. Deputy Eric Byrne asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government his views on whether, with the application of the €50 per tonne landfill levy being demanded from customers in the private domestic market irrespective of the number of bins left for collection, a charge per weight would be more appropriate for those who are dedicated to recycling; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29734/11]
The Programme for Government contains a commitment to introduce competitive tendering for household waste collection, under which service providers will bid to provide waste collection services in a given area, for a given period of time and to a guaranteed level of service. A public consultation on the issues involved, designed to inform the policy development process, has recently concluded. The responses received are being examined and I intend to bring policy proposals to Government before the end of the year. Issues such as costs to households and businesses, consumer choice and employment impacts will be among the issues for consideration in this context.
The landfill levy is chargeable on waste presented for disposal at landfill facilities. The increase in the levy to €50 per tonne, which I recently introduced, is intended to send a strong price signal to the producers, collectors and managers of waste, to alter behaviour and to encourage a shift away from landfill to more sustainable management of waste. Further increases in the levy are also planned, to €65 per tonne in 2012 and €75 per tonne in 2013. I hope to see significantly improved levels of prevention, recovery, recycling and reuse of waste as a consequence of these increases.
As the waste collection market is currently structured, the pricing schemes used by private waste collectors are a matter for determination as between the service providers and consumers of the service, subject, of course, to a service provider’s collection permit and other legal responsibilities being complied with. The relative merits of different pricing schemes, including schemes which include a pay-by-weight component, will also be among the issues considered during the Government’s deliberations on the future approach to regulating household waste collection markets.
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