Tuesday, 5 December 2017
Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment
Waste Disposal Charges
422. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the procedures that have been put in place to ensure that heavy medical waste is taken into consideration, so that persons living at home with high levels of medical waste products are protected from very high charges under the pay-by-weight system for waste collection; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51621/17]
425. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the financial supports available to home owners towards bin charges in circumstances where there are persons residing in the home who are elderly or have a disability; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51428/17]
430. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment his plan and timeframe to introduce certain exemptions for users of pay-by-weight waste collection services such as those persons who need to use incontinence pads on a daily basis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51787/17]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 422, 425 and 430 together.
In line with the commitments set out in A Resource Opportunity - Waste Management Policy in Ireland, published in 2012, and in the interest of encouraging further waste prevention and greater recycling, flat-rate fees for kerbside household waste collection are being phased out over the period autumn 2017 to autumn 2018, as customers contracts come up for renewal. The necessary regulatory steps have been put in place to give effect to this measure.
It is worth noting that this measure is not 'new' for about half of kerbside household waste customers, who are already on an incentivised usage pricing plan, i.e., a plan which contains a per lift or weight related fee.
As announced in mid-2017, mandatory per kilogramme 'pay by weight' charging is not being introduced. Allowing for a range of charging options, which encourage householders to reduce and separate their waste, provides flexibility to waste collectors to develop various service-price offerings that suit different household circumstances. Consequently, a pure kilogramme charge for waste collection may not be selected by some households. Instead, some households may use a 'per lift' type charge or a 'weight allowance' collection service.
An annual support of €75 will be introduced next year and made available for persons with lifelong or long-term medical incontinence. This will help people meet the average annual cost of disposal of medical incontinence products. My Department is in discussion with the Department of Health and the Health Service Executive with a view to finalising the details and arrangements of the support as soon as possible, following further consultation with stakeholder groups.