28 September 2018
The Minster for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughten is welcoming the publication of the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) report on the operation of the household waste collection market in Ireland.
The Minister said: "I want to thank the CCPC for the significant body of work that it has carried out in this report. The findings of this Report clearly supports the policy decision that I took to introduce an incentivized pricing model by abolishing flat rate fees rather than a blanket pay by weight system proposed previously. The Report notes that it took 19 years for a policy to be implemented to abolish flat rate fee structures.
The Report shows that daily waste collection costs are between .63 cents and .77 cents and only 6% of people cite cost as a reason for not having their waste collected.
The CCPC acknowledges the excellent work of the Price Monitoring Group (PMG) which I established in July 2017 to monitor prices for consumers offered by the waste sector and oversight of the industry as flat fees were being phased out. The Report confirms that consumers have seen price stability across the sector over the last 12 months with no evidence of price gouging.
I welcome the fact that the CCPC does not call for a one size fits all type regulatory approach and that based on data collection and consultation, different competition models can be introduced for different geographic areas.
The nature of the market is complex, as both the CCPC and the Price Monitoring Group have identified, and therefore the findings of this CCPC Report must be studied with care and diligence to ensure consumer wellbeing is protected and our environmental goals are met.
For the waste collection market, its complexity requires a carefully planned approach to ensure price shocks are avoided and the household waste collection service continues to function.
The hybrid model suggested could help to extend the coverage of door to door collections nationwide, while ensuring value for money for the householder and providing certainty for investment by the waste sector.
I note that the CCPC findings state that the current regulatory system needs to be developed to address market structure, customer needs, and environmental targets.
This Report combined with the ongoing work of the Price Monitoring Group, under the excellent Chairmanship of Frank Conway, will help inform future waste management policy decisions. In the interim, it is my intention to continue price monitoring beyond this year.
I welcome the fact that the CCPC highlights the need to roll out brown organic bins nationwide which again supports my decision to implement this measure last year. Clearly if we can get 90% coverage in rural counties such as Clare and Leitrim there is no reason why it cannot be achieved elsewhere.
It is notable that significant progress has been made in recent times in terms of the co-ordination of the local authority regulation of the sector, including the establishment of the National Waste Collection Permit Office, the National Transfrontier Shipment Office, the Waste Enforcement Regional Lead Authorities and the Regional Waste Management Planning Offices."
The CCPC Press Release and Report can be accessed here.