Dáil Éireann - Volume 614 - 14 February, 2006
Written Answers. - Waste Disposal.
Mr. Deasy Mr. Deasy
646. Mr. Deasy asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if it is Government policy, as stated in replies to Questions Nos. 1504 and 1505 of 25 January 2006, that local authorities should impose a fixed waste services charge on households to cover the fixed costs associated with providing the collection service coupled with a use-based charge per bin lift; if he approved the adoption of this approach by Waterford County Council when the county manager added a fixed charge of €150 per household to the existing charges per bin lift; his views on whether this policy will offer no incentive to householders to reduce the amount of waste being produced; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5538/06]
Mr. Roche Mr. Roche
Mr. Roche: My reply to Questions Nos. 1504 and 1505 of 25 January 2006 did not state that it is Government policy to require local authorities to set a standing charge for waste collection services provided by them. Many local authorities do not have a standing charge and rely exclusively on usage based charges. It is the case that, in accordance with section 52 of the Protection of the Environment Act 2003, the determination of waste manage ment charges is a matter for the relevant local authority, where it acts as the service provider.
Waste collection is inherently a local service, and one in which central Government has not intervened directly. Consequently, the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government has at no time exercised a function in determining waste management charges, or any associated waiver arrangements. Local authorities are empowered under the Waste Management Acts to set charges for the waste collection services which they provide. Where a local authority does not directly provide a collection service, the determination of charges is a matter for the service provider concerned.
However, to encourage households to minimise their waste, all local authorities and private waste operators were asked to move to use-based charging arrangements from the start of 2005. In accordance with Government policy, as set out in Taking Stock and Moving Forward 2004, collectors have discretion as to the types of systems to be used, provided that the key principle of use-based charging is respected. As is the case in many local authority areas, a standing charge to cover fixed costs can be a component of such a charging system.
Dáil Éireann 614 Written Answers. Waste Disposal.