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Monday 26 September 2016

Couple face 100pc hike in what they'll pay from July

Colette Gallagher puts out the rubbish Picture: INM
Colette Gallagher puts out the rubbish Picture: INM

Colette Gallagher lives in Lucan, Co Dublin, with her husband, Mick Kerrigan.

Under the pay-by-weight system coming into force in less than a fortnight, her waste disposal charges will almost double.

Last year, the couple paid a €140 annual flat fee to have their rubbish collected. In April, it was increased to €170, again under a flat-fee arrangement.

Under the new charging system, their annual bill will rise to just over €300.

Surprised

"I got an email from City Bin and when I started to do the calculations I realised my charges would almost double," said Colette.

"I was surprised, because I had heard the head of an organisation from the bin collection companies saying the new system would probably mean that charges would go down for most.

"I was expecting a fluctuation, but not this. This is a sizeable increase in cost."

The couple produced 295kgs of brown bin, or organic, waste last year. They had 285kgs of black bin waste and 141kgs of green.

Under the new system, the cheapest option offered by their provider includes a €2.99 a week standing charge, coupled with a fee of 20c per kilo of brown waste and 30c for black bin. There is no charge for green.

Based on the amount generated last year, the couple's bill will be €300.88 a year.

"The thing for me is the weekly service charge," said Colette. "I'm pretty good at recycling and I'm pretty vigilant.

"There's probably enough scope in the per-kilo charge to cover the cost without this weekly fee.

"In fairness, the service is very good. I'd like to stay with them, but I'll have to shop around.

"My next step is to try and negotiate a better rate, like you would with car insurance. We have Thornton's, City Bin and Greyhound. I've done a very quick comparison and I don't see there's going to be a huge amount of difference between them.

"I'm a loyal customer, and I'll ask them if there's anything they can do. The only possible thing is we would have a slightly bigger outdoor space than many people. All those grass clippings go into the brown bin. I think I'll look at getting a composter in.

"Then it's over to us in how we deal with our waste. In terms of usage, it's moving more towards the brown bin."

The Department of the Environment suggests that households with four or fewer people will pay less, while those with five will pay the same. Around 75,000 families of six or more will pay more.

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