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Republic of Ireland environment minister criticises waste collection rate hikes

Waste companies in the Republic of Ireland are increasing the costs of household bin collections disproportionately in comparison with rises in landfill tax, according to environment minister Phil Hogan.

In a letter to the National Consumer Agency (NCA), Hogan complained: “It is inexcusable and reprehensible that waste collectors would try to use the increase in the landfill levy as a smokescreen to inflate their prices.” He said he would work with the agency to address instances of general price hikes being blamed on the levy.

A number of bin collectors have increased their charges recently, blaming the rise in the landfill levy from €65 to €75 a tonne in July, according to The Irish Times.

In one instance, Greyhound Recycling raised its charges by 76% more than the levy increase but, following a complaint to the NCA, then reduced them. Thornton, Panda and City Bin have also increased their charges since the levy increase, the paper reported.

Hogan said: “This kind of opportunitistic behaviour is unacceptable. I clearly signalled the increase in the levy a full 12 months in advance of its introduction, so it should not have come as a surprise to anybody in the industry.”

The Department of Environment, Community and Local Government of Ireland said: “While it is accepted that the levy does impose an extra cost on disposing waste to landfill, its primary function is to change both consumer and industry behaviour to divert waste away from landfill to more productive uses.”

Hogan said the landfill levy would “become a thing of the past”, along with landfill itself, under his waste policy, published last year.

  • The minister also stated his intention to start a public consultation on household waste collection. One aim is to ensure that waste is collected in accordance with the waste hierarchy.

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