Families to be hit with higher bin charges and penalties for not recycling

Families to be hit with higher bin charges and penalties for not recycling

FAMILIES will pay more to dispose of household waste after the Government announced a ban on flat-fee charges.

Environment Minister Denis Naughten has resurrected plans to penalise households which refuse to recycle – and those which insist on putting most rubbish in the black bin are expected to pay significantly more.

But he admitted charges would also rise across the board after a voluntary 12-month price freeze ends this month.

“There is likely to be some increase in relation to the cost of collecting refuse,” he said. “But we don’t expect a significant increase.”

Last year, the Government became involved in a furious row over plans to introduce a pay-by-weight collection system, including a minimum charge to dispose of black bin waste destined for landfill and green bin recycling waste.

Under a new system which comes into force on July 1, flat-rate fees will be banned, meaning households which only use the black bin to dispose of waste will pay higher charges.

There will be no minimum charge per kilogram, with operators free to set prices.

Mr Naughten said he expected collectors to put customers on tariffs which reflected their recycling habits, and which would lead to lower costs.

The minister insisted that those who separate their waste will pay less.

“By getting rid of the flat-rate fee, you incentivise people to reduce”. But he said the State did not have any direct role in pricing, and could not force operators to charge specific amounts.

The Green Party said that consumers would suffer if the new system wasn’t properly regulated, and that recycling had to remain free.

Sinn Féin warned low-income households were at risk in the new waste policy, as well as those with disabled people or children who may produce more waste.

Paul Melia