Minister Alan KellyPay by Weight!

  January 2015 will see the passing in the Dáil of the Department of the Environment, Community and Local  Government’s legislation to introduce Pay by Weight refuse collection for all households in Ireland (ROI) on July 1st    with no exceptions. Minister Alan Kelly delivered this shock message through a statement read by his Principal Officer, Waste  Policy and Resource Efficiency Mr Philip Nugent to a representative group from the refuse industry on November 6th, at a workshop held in AMCS Groups facility in Fanningstown, Crecora, County Limerick.  The announcement came as a shock by way of the date being announced for its introduction, as the industry was well aware of Minister Kellys intention to radically shake up the domestic waste industry and to end what he had previously described as  ‘The Race To The Bottom’ strategies engaged by many of the industries partners. Philip Nugent was questioned on the wisdom of such a fast track approach and  lack of time to implement this radical new strategy, and to adequately  deal with existing and new customer annual contracts. Simply and bluntly Mr Nugent replied that the industry was told of the impending introduction of Pay by Weight two years ago.

Implications for Households.

So what does this all mean to the households of Ireland that have existing contracts with Refuse Companies? Quite simply as and from July 1st  all existing contracts will be scrapped, and as Mr Nugent stated earlier there will be no exceptions.

Philip Nugent

Philip Nugent



 This could possibly have all kinds of legal ramifications between refuse companies and households as the householders were  never told of the possibility of this change to their contracts.  Apartments are excluded from this change as their waste will still  be classed as Commercial, and Commercial waste changes will not be dealt with yet for some time. However households that  do not have a wheelie bin and use a Clear Kerbside Bag will be included in the Pay by Weight legislation changes, and their mixed bag of waste will be charged at the higher Landfill rate. The driver  behind this change is the EU’s Land fill directive to all member states requiring significant diversion of waste away from  Landfill, to protect the environment from Methane production, also the pollution of surface water, groundwater, soil and air,  minimising the greenhouse effect.

 The good news emanating from what at first instance appears to be another tax on householders, is that for households that  use their Brown bin (as will be required to do by law from July), they will see a significant reduction in their refuse bills. Mr Nugent indicated that annual household segregated refuse bills should come in about €116 plus the cost of any presentations of a Black bin.

How does it work?

DSC_0284 PxWeight_result

 As all wheelie bins are electronically chipped it has been possible for some time now for many of the refuse companies trucks to identify the owner of a wheelie bin, its frequency of presentation and its weight. However not all refuse companies had all their trucks fitted with this equipment, and now must have them retrofitted at a significant cost circa €25K per truck. So when you present your bin for collection it will be lifted, identified, weighed when being lifted and also when being lowered to take into account any waste remaining behind. Kerbside bins have identifier tags attached and will be identified and weighed as above. An App will be available to customers for real time billing of waste collected, and as with any utility a bill will follow after collection unlike annual contracts previously.

How do I manage a Brown bin?

brown-bin-liner A Brown bin is simply a bin that takes food prep, cooked food, dog pooh and for now grass and dead  plants. Previously this material would have been placed into a Black bin in plastic shopping bags from the  supermarket. It was an easy way to dispose of food waste, in fact any waste as one was only charged per  bin lift or all 3 bins for a set price. Now a household will be billed per weight of the bin so as a Black bin  typically contains circa 60% of food waste, moving this waste to a bin that charges a household less is  paramount and logical. The problem for many households is that the Brown bin seems impossible to  manage with waste sticking to the bin walls and floor, and becoming seriously odorous even rancid if food  is just dumped into it. The answer as we have found as a family over many years using a Brown bin is to line it with Compostable liners, which guarantee to keep it clean and any nasty Larvae that may arise will be emptied into the refuse truck on collection day.

Getting food waste to the brown bin.

Pic of Caddy wth Bag of Food outside. To get your food waste to the Brown bin from the kitchen is best done using a lined Aerated  Kitchen Caddy, as this will permit the food waste to breathe, significantly reduce the  moisture content , reduce its weight and the likelihood of the waste becoming unnecessarily  odourous in the Brown bin.


All of these items are available on our Brown Bin Rescue web site shop, along  with all the  information you require to properly manage your Brown bin and  save big time on refuse  charges. 



It was mentioned by Philip Nugent that awareness campaigns would begin on RTE tv from November 2014 onwards, and  intensifying as July 2015 drew nearer. However it is now December 20th 2014 and there has been no mention of the intended Legislation being passed in January 2015 or of the change to Pay by Weight in July 2015.

You have heard it first from Brown Bin Rescue, so sign up to our Facebook page for updates and check back to my  Blog here also.

For everything you need to manage your Brown Bin,

 Click on Brown Bin Rescue Shop .


Edited by Denis Lawlor

CEO Brown Bin Rescue 20-12-2014.