Dáil Éireann - Volume 542 - 17 October, 2001

Written Answers. - Waste Management.

142. Mr. Wall asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government his proposals to deal with the problems that families have in deal[831] ing with refuse collection charges; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the increased cost of landfill and packaging charges has been passed on to householders; if his attention has further been drawn to the fact that due to the cost, that dumping is becoming prevalent in many parts of the country; if his attention has further been drawn to the fact that the hoarding of refuse is now common and is causing health problems, fire risks and rodent problems; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24427/01]

Minister for the Environment and Local Government (Mr. Dempsey): Under the Local Government (Financial Provisions)(No. 2) Act, 1983, as amended, a local authority is empowered to charge for waste collection services provided by it or on its behalf and may, if it is satisfied that it is appropriate to do so on grounds of personal hardship, waive all or a portion of any such charge. My Department has no function in the administration of waste charges.

The Government's policy statement on waste management, Changing our Ways, in line with EU policy recognises as fundamental to efficient waste management that all producers of waste pay fully for its collection, treatment and disposal. It specifically recommends that local authorities move rapidly towards full cost recoupment for waste services they provide, and that as a matter of equity and to incentivise waste reduction, the level of waste charges should vary according to usage.

Under section 59 of the Waste Management Act, 1996, each local authority is responsible for the supervision of, and the enforcement of the relevant provisions of the Act in relation to the holding, recovery and disposal of waste within its functional area. Accordingly, it is a matter for each authority to deal with any illegal waste disposal activities taking place within its area. My Department has not been made aware of a problem of waste being hoarded by households.