Written answers

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment

Waste Disposal Charges

Photo of Mary ButlerMary Butler (Waterford, Fianna Fail)
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367. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment his plans to introduce an allowance for adults with incontinence and who are dependent on social welfare to offset the increase in bin charges introduced under the pay by weight scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40527/19]

Photo of Seán SherlockSeán Sherlock (Cork East, Labour)
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376. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment his plans to introduce a refuse waiver for persons with disabilities; the specific GDPR obstacles in respect of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40608/19]

Photo of Richard BrutonRichard Bruton (Dublin Bay North, Fine Gael)
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I propose to take Questions Nos. 367 and 376 together.

Since mid-2017, a range of charging options have operated, which encourage householders to reduce and separate their waste. This provides flexibility to waste collectors to develop various service-price offerings that suit different household circumstances. Mandatory per kilogramme 'pay by weight' charging was not introduced. ​A Price Monitoring Group (PMG) was established in mid-2017 to monitor the on-going cost of residential waste collection to homeowners across Ireland as the ‘flat-rate structure’ was being phased out. While fluctuations in prices and service offerings have been observed, the overall trend has been relative price stability.

My Department has engaged with relevant stakeholders, including representative organisations and the HSE, in an effort to see how best to provide a financial support to persons with long-term incontinence with respect to the disposal of medical incontinence wear.

A number of models of delivery have been explored, but challenges arose in all options. Significant personal data concerns, under the new GDPR arrangements, were raised in one case. My Department has been examining this issue in detail; however, there are complex issues at play in this area, which are understandable given the sensitive nature of the medical data in question.

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