Panda claims new green bin charge will average €21 a year

Ireland’s largest waste company says fees for recycling bins will be frozen


Ireland’s largest waste company Panda has said charges for green bin collections will be frozen for five years after it announced it was introducing a fee for collecting recyclables.

The new charge will affect more than 250,000 homes and commercial businesses, mainly in the Dublin area.

From April 19th it will charge 80 cents per lift of recycling bins and 4.5 cents per kg of waste in these bins. Panda collects and processes 100,000 tonnes of mix recyclables a year.

Panda says its analysis suggests the annual cost of the green bin collection service will be an average of €21 per customer. One householder who contacted The Irish Times, however, said he was facing a €100 increase in charges, based on two lifts a month of his green bin, including a €25 lift charge.

Panda chief executive Des Crinion on Wednesday gave a commitment that charges for recycling bins will not be increased for five years.

“I am quite confident to say this is it. We won’t increase this charge. This is to sustain us, to help us continue recycling. I can give a commitment for five years - there will be no increase,” Mr Crinion told Newstalk Breakfast on Wednesday.

Mr Crinion said that China, the biggest processor of plastics in the world, is no longer taking plastic from other countries. “China is basically closed. No plastic is going to China unless it is already processed,” he added.

He said that the past year has been very difficult for the company which, he said, has in effect been subsidising the recycling section of its business. “It has taken us a year to get to this point. We don’t want to have a negative impact on the fantastic culture of recycling in Ireland, ” he added.

There has been a €100 per tonne drop in the price of unsorted scrap paper in recent months – so much so that waste companies now have to pay up to €25 per tonne to shift it. Other waste companies are also likely to pass on increased costs in coming weeks; some already charge for green bin contents.

Last year the Government stopped a move to introduce flat bin charges after controversy over predicted increased costs for consumers and moves to extend charges for contaminated waste in green bins. The vast majority of households are now subject to a pay-by-weight scheme, though some areas continue to have a black bags and tag system in place.

In July 2017, the Department of Environment announced, however, it would not be enforcing a pay-by-weight system. Instead, it would no longer allow flat rate bin charges to be applied.

Waste collection companies were free to use several options or combinations of charging methods such as standing charges, pay per-lift, pay per-kilogramme, pay by weight-bands, and weight allowance charges. Standing charges are still allowed but the bin companies also had to incorporate a charge related to the amount of waste a household produces.