Pay by Weight deferred for a year but not shelved.
Governments planned introduction of Pay by Weight on July 1st 2015 has for householders not currently on such a system, been put back for another year to be implemented on July 1st 2016.
This system of paying for all household domestic waste by Weight as opposed to by Unit or Bin Load as has been the norm, will see the Brown Bin win out over the Black bin in cost per Kilo charged per lift by any refuse collector nationwide, as minimum price per Kilo will be set by (DECLG) Department of Environment, Community and Local Government. On January 22nd Brown Bin Rescue was informed along with all waste collectors nationwide of this change of date to Pay by Weights implementation by DECLG. The 120,000 Households already on the scheme in pilot areas around the country will not be affected by the deferral.
For most of you this announcement will probably come as a ‘News to Me’ moment, and understandably so especially with all the media coverage of Irish Water.
This Pay by Weight wrangle between refuse collectors and DECLG although principally an industry matter and so not reported to the general public, will bring about the biggest change this country has ever seen with regard to how Household refuse will be collected and charged for.
Pay by Weight will finally permit householders to take control of their refuse bills, as one is only charged for the weight of waste presented. However it also has inbuilt mechanisms to identify households that do not wish to comply with the regulations, and more importantly the households with no refuse collection contracts. By DECLG deferring the implementation of Pay by Weight to households it will give much needed time to adopt systems to ensure food waste in particular accounting for circa 60% of a Black bins mixed contents is diverted properly to the Brown bin.
Households will really save financially by doing this, as the Brown bin will be the lowest cost per Kilo and the Black bin set to rise further per Kilo in line with 2016’s guaranteed upward revised Landfill rates.
I was concerned to hear of the deferral from Pay by Weight from DECLG, fearing that the whole programme had been shelved as wrongly reported in the Independent on January 22nd. However as I am only concerned with how food waste is captured and treated, and am not in the business of generating potentially industry damaging intentional ‘Misleading Headlines’ I simply contacted Mr Philip Nugent Principal Officer to Minister Alan Kelly for Waste Policy and Resource Efficiency at DECLG to give me an update.
Below are the list of questions I put to Mr Nugent regarding Pay by Weights deferral, the most important answer being that Pay by Weight although deferred for implementation on Households until July 1st
2016, it still applies to all refuse collectors who must be compliant to receive waste in this manner by July 1st 2015.
Questions put by Denis Lawlor (Brown Bin Rescue) to Philip Nugent (Principal Officer Waste Policy and Resource Efficiency DECLG) by phone, following the notification from NATIONAL WASTE COLLECTION PERMIT OFFICE N.W.C.P.O, Áras an Chontae, Charleville Road, Tullamore, County Offaly on 21st January 2015 on deferral of Pay by Weight to July 1st 2016.
DECLG refers to Department of Environment, Community and Local Government.
Is legislation on Pay by Weight still going through this January? Or is that deferred too?
No, the legislation is not being deferred however it may not be finalised until April as is complex, but that does not affect implementation of the regulations on Pay by Weight for Refuse Collectors.
e.g. Domestic Refuse Collectors must have in place by July 1st 2015:-
- A regulated means of weighing all household waste (To facilitate charging per Kilo on July 1st 2016.).
- Should provide Households with notified weights along with their bills of all waste collected, to encourage proper separation of their waste prior to introduction of Pay by Weight charges on July 1st 2016.
Note! Brown bin will be the cheapest to present for collection. ( Typically accounting for circa 60% of the contents of a mixed waste Black bin)
Report from DCU on exportation of minimally treated Residual Waste, (which the EPA has continually condemned stating that “Any waste exported abroad for energy recovery is a lost energy resource and opportunity for the State”.)
Who commissioned it?
Department of Environment, Community and Local Government.
Report when published is then going for Public consultation. Why? Why not just act on findings of previous EPA/CIWM/ Zero Waste Scotland previous report.
DCU Report due for completion in February is not just on Export of Minimally Treated waste. As it will deal with wider waste issues DECLG want to include public consultation, same as happened with ‘A Recourse Opportunity’ report to ensure every concern is addressed. But yes the main intention is to close the loophole on the export of Minimally Treated Waste, of which Food Waste is a large component.
This waste stream must stay in Ireland to ensure a significant availability of feed stock for AD (Anaerobic Digestion) plants of which at least 2 are planned for Fingal and Cork in the very near future.
Absolutely and DECLG is fully committed to ensuring that happens.
Will PTU’s (Pay To Use) units be illegal on July 1st 2015?
Yes no change to this regulation for PTU’s. Unless these units comply with Pay by Weight requirements by July 1st 2015 e.g.
• Be able to weigh waste being deposited in them.
• Have section’s for Food Waste & Recyclables
• Be able to identify the depositor.
they will be deemed to be operating outside of their license.
Planning is being pushed through to ensure these units in future cannot be sited in areas where Council’s Local Waste Management Plan prioritises Kerbside Collection.
What will be the sanctions for noncompliance by a Refuse Collector?
Powers already exist for councils to seize Vehicles or Machines that do not comply with regulations, and have been used previously. DECLG intend to have councils exercise these existing powers to act quickly on any operator deemed to be in breach of licence regulations, and who may be continuing to operate post warnings of such breaches.
Requirement for Competition regulator? With fewer Refuse Companies remaining in the market place after July 1st 2015, competing alongside companies with huge foreign financial backing offering 6 months FREE, what safeguards are in place to stop any upward price fixing by any possible Cartel arrangement?
Pay by Weight will see the DECLG set the ‘Minimum Price per Kilo’ for all Household waste collected. To prevent any group forming a Cartel with a view to Fixing a Higher Price, the ‘A Resource Opportunity’ document cited that there be a review of the waste market end of 2016. However should there be a need to intervene prior to that date or post it, due to manipulation of pricing etc. then current regulations being brought through the Dáil will permit DECLG to act immediately on any such manipulation.
Note! The questions and answers above are not transcribed Verbatim, however they are I believe a factual interpretation of the conversation between myself and Philip Nugent.
Philip can be reached on DECLG 003539117396.
Denis Lawlor Brown Bin Rescue. 00353863377534.
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I wrote an earlier blog on Pay by Weight available HERE which explains in more depth the originally intended implementation of Pay by Weight for July 1st 2015. I met with Mr Nugent and Mr Keegan of DECLG on January 16th in the Customs House Dublin, as a result of earlier industry rumours of the Pay by Weight system being scrapped altogether. At that point the Department of the Environment were standing firm on the date of implementation as being July 1st 2015, shortly after the revised plan as outlined above was released.
Brown Bin Rescue.