October 19th 2018
Service levels at some firms remain weak and in need of improvement
September 2018 data – The cost of collecting household waste continued to remain broadly stable in September. However, the month was not without some price fluctuations, with some waste collection firms adjusting some aspects of their prices upwards while there were also some minor downward price adjustments.
The Price Monitoring Group, which was established to monitor the cost of residential household waste collection during the phasing out of flat rate services, monitors 26 service providers. This comprises 19 individual companies with several of those being monitored in more than one area.
As has been standard practice, the Price Monitoring Group employs a mix of phone calls to waste collection firms along with additional inspections of their websites to confirm prices. This approach revealed early on in the series that the overall pricing landscape is complex; there is no single or uniform price arrangement across all of the service providers monitored. An example of the complexity of the market shows that some service providers offer multiple waste collection packages. For example, in September, the total number of those packages increased by 2 over the previous month to 49 (a full breakdown of all service offers is included with this report).
Range of pricing models available
Many waste collection companies continue to offer a mix of price plans to their customers. Because of this and the general level of complexity of those price plans, the Price Monitoring Group has observed degrees of service level gaps at various waste collection companies. For example, it can be that some waste collection firms require more than one phone call to confirm up-to-date prices. In some cases, a company website may not be fully optimised to ensure price information is readily accessible to customers that seek it electronically. During the September calls, some companies were relatively slow in providing price information which was generally on par with the August experience.
Complex Price Models
There was no change in the number of pricing models available in September compared to August; the total number now stands at 8. Examples of price models include: Service charge plus per kg weight charge; E-tag and other options (the full list of all pricing models is provided with this report under the data analysis).
Phase out of flat-rate fees
For the third month in-a-row, none of the monitored firms offered a flat-rate plan.
Where prices changed
Across the 49 various price plans available; there was a mix of price changes from a month earlier, those were as follows:
- Service Provider I– monthly service charge increased from €20.95 to €25 (Service charge (incl. weight allowance) plus per kg charge for excess above allowance).
- Service Provider P – monthly service charge increased from €26.00 to €27.75 (Service charge (incl. weight allowance) plus per kg charge for excess above allowance).
- Service Provider F – waste lift charge increased from €5.00 to €9.50 and recycling lift charge increased from €5.00 to €6.50 (Service Charge Plus Charge Per Lift Per Bin Plus per KG Weight Charges).
- Service Provider M – Company M are now charging a €5 one off fee for the collection of the compost bin. This would make up for the €5 decrease in service charge that has been applied since Series 9 (E-Tag).
- Service Provider C – monthly service charge decreased from €13.17 to €10 or €79 to €60 for 6-months (Service charge plus charge per lift per bin).
- Service Provider P – monthly service charge decreased from €6.33 to €3 (Service charge plus charge per lift per bin).
- Service Provider D – monthly service charge decreased from €36.00 to €29.16 to €10 or €79 to €60 for 6-months (Service charge (incl. weight allowance) plus per kg charge for excess above allowance).
Why some information is anonymised
The purpose of the group is to gain a broad understanding of whether or not prices are fluctuating and if they are, by how much during the period flat-rate services are being phased out.
Composition of the PMG
The group comprises representatives from:
- Waste Policy & Resource Efficiency Division
- An economist from the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment,
- A statistician from the Central Statistics Office.
- Shelfwatch – an independent price monitoring group and
- Frank Conway, (MoneyWhizz) – independent consumer expert.
To date, the Price Monitoring Group has met on fourteen separate occasions: 13th September, 11th October, 14th November, 12th December, 9th January 2018, 13th February, 13th of March, 10th April, 14th May, 20th June, 17th July, August 14th, September 11th and October 16th.
Submissions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note this email has been put in place to facilitate the submission of relevant price information to the Group. The Group will consider all submission that can help inform it in respect to prices residential users pay for the collection of residential waste. Unfortunately, the Group is not in a position to respond to individual submissions at this time.