The Republic of Ireland is to remove a mandatory minimum charge for the collection of mixed household recycling materials.
From 1 July, companies will base collection charges on the weight of the materials they collect.
The proposed minimum charges per kg were 11 cents (8p) for residual waste, six cents for food waste and two cents for mixed recyclables.
Critics argued that it was wrong to charge for materials sorted by householders because it could discourage recycling.
But now Simon Coveney, housing, planning and local government minister, is removing a mandatory charge for mixed household recycling, allowing contractors to charge for the stream on a pay by weight basis or to absorb the cost in another part of their pricing structure.
“I will be amending the relevant statutory instrument accordingly in the very near future,” he said.
The country’s Green Party welcomed the reversal, but called on the government to go further to promote recycling over landfill or enery recovery.
Party leader Eamon Ryan said: “These charges would have been a retrograde step, and penalised householders for disposing of waste responsibly.
“It was a short-sighted move, and the public outcry against the charges shows the level of support for recycling initiatives. It’s now up to the waste management companies to ensure that recycling stays free to the public.”