People Before Profit TD for Dublin South Central Bríd Smith says a plan to charge people for recycling is a retrograde step and damaging for the environment.
The People Before Profit party has launched a campaign against a pay-by-weight system which was introduced by former minister of the environment Alan Kelly in the last days of the previous government.
Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast, Ms Smith said the plan is “disproportionately punitive on the less well off” and the charges should be abolished.
“Charging for recycling is very damaging for the environment. Recycling makes people make an effort. It shouldn’t be something that you have to pay for as it generates its own profit,” she said.
“I don’t think people should have to pay directly for refuse collection at all.”
According to a statement on the Department of the Environment website, the move away from a flat-fee for refuse collection “promotes greater segregation of waste, improves recycling and allows householders to save on their bills”.
Up to 87 per cent of house holds will save money through pay-by-weight charges, which is the “most effective waste prevention mechanism we have,” said Mr Kelly.
A small number of houses may see a higher bill while 8.5 per cent will see no change, according to statistics quoted by the department.