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Residential Waste Collection Charges Stabilise in February

March 26 2020

February 2020 data – Price stability returned to the residential waste collection market in February after a significant number of changes were recorded a month earlier. However, there were still some pricing adjustments reported by firms including changes to annual service charges, waste lift charges and various per kg excess charges.

The format for verifying price data in February was unchanged from previous months. The data is based on analysis conducted across a selection of licensed residential waste collection firms. This comprises 19 individual companies, with some firms operating in more than one area. In total, 26 markets were monitored.

During the February mystery-shopping campaign, the Price Monitoring Group employed the same price validation strategy used in January; firms were allowed to provide pricing rather being asked a series of pre-set questions. As with January, a majority of firms quoted their most popular package. Following that, the Price Monitoring Group did some additional examination of company websites where they observed and recorded additional waste collection pricing packages. This resulted in 11 of the 49 service offerings being located online only.

Pricing landscape for residential waste collection is complex.

As with previous months, a majority of residential waste collection firms offer multiple waste collection packages but most have now coalesced around a single one; Service Charge Including weight Allowance Plus Per KG Excess Charge Above Allowance.

In February, there was no change in the total number of price packages which still stands at 8. Examples of price packages include: Service charge plus per kg weight charge; E-tag and other options.  The total number of waste collection price packages across all of the monitored firms is 49, an increase of 3 from the previous month. A full breakdown of all service offers is included in the data part of this report.

Where prices did change

February price variations are as follows:

  1. Service Provider A – Increased the service charge from €24.50 to €25.50 (Service charge (incl weight allowance) plus per kg charge for excess weight above allowance).
  2. Service Provider B – Increased the service charge from €24.50 to €25.50. It also reduced the excess KG charge on waste by 12 cent (Service charge (incl weight allowance) plus per kg charge for excess weight above allowance).
  3. Service Provider B – Increased the service charge from €11.00 to €12.50.  (Service Charge plus Per KG Weigh Charge).
  4. Service Provider C – Increased the service charge from €24.50 to €25.50 (Service charge (incl weight allowance) plus per kg charge for excess weight above allowance).
  5. Service Provider D – Increased the service charge from €19.00 to €19.08 (Service charge (incl weight allowance) plus per kg charge for excess weight above allowance).
  6. Service Provider F – Decreased the annual service charge from €25.80 to €24.13 (Service Charge plus Weight Band Charge). In the case of this provider, its prices rise and fall every month and this price returns it within an average charge band.
  7. Service Provider I – Decreased the recycling lift charge from €12 to €10.50 and compost lift charges are being quoted at €12 to €6.50 (Service charge (incl weight allowance) plus per kg charge for excess weight above allowance).
  8. Service Provider L – Increased the recycling lift charge by 50 cent from €6.00 to €6.50 (Service charge plus charge per lift per bin plus KG excess charge)
  9. Service Provider O – Reduced the waste lift charge from €9.35 to €9.05 (Service Charge plus Charge per Lift per Bin plus Per KG excess charge). This is a reversal of the price increase recorded the previous month.
  10. Service Provider Q – Increased the waste lift charge from €12 to €13  (Service charge (incl weight allowance) plus per kg charge for excess weight above allowance).
  11. Service Provider S – Increased annual service charge from €26.75 to €29.00 (Service charge (incl weight allowance) plus per kg charge for excess weight above allowance). This is just a straight reversal from a month earlier when the price decreased from €29 to €26.75
  12. Service Provider W – Decreased the recycling lift charge from €1.75 to €1.25 (Service charge plus charge per lift per bin plus KG excess charge). The previous month, the same price was reported by the firm as having risen from €1.25 to €1.75 and this company is operating at present using the €1.75 charge on recycling bin lift charges.
  13. Service Provider X – Decreased the recycling lift charge from €1.75 to €1.25 (Service charge plus charge per lift per bin plus KG excess charge). The previous month, the same price was reported by the firm as having risen from €1.25 to €1.75 and this company is operating at present using the €1.75 charge on recycling bin lift charges.

Pricing anomaly

As noted, the PMG observed a price anomaly for firms W and X. In January, they reported an increase of 50cents for the lift charge on recycling bins from €1.25 to €1.75. However, in February, their office staff reported a charge of €1.25 even though market evidence suggests €1.75 is being applied to existing customers. No clarity was offered by staff at the waste collection firms. This has the potential to either confuse the public or mislead them.

Why information is anonymised

The purpose of the Price Monitoring Group is to establish and track whether the prices householders pay for the collection of household waste fluctuates and if so, by how much. It does this by using a mystery-shopping approach to a proportion of licensed waste collection firms. However, since price monitoring is not carried out on a whole-of-market basis, it is not in a position to publish names of those firms that are actively monitored.

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 thirty-one separate occasions: 13th September 2017, 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, October 16th, November 14th, December 11th 2018, January 15th 2019, February 12th, March 14th, April 9th , May 14th June 11th, July 9th, August 20th 2019, September 10th, 2019, October 8th 2019, November 12th 2019, December 16th 2019, January 22nd 2020, February 17th and March 10th 2020.

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