Ireland: Almost 90 per cent of households will save money through pay-by-weight

Mülltonnen (Foto: © W.Sickora /

Dublin, Ireland – Almost 90 per cent of Irish households will see their waste bills reduced with the introduction of pay-by-weight from July this year, Minister for the Environment, Community & Local Government Mr Alan Kelly T.D. Has outlined. The move, which sees householders move away from paying a flat-fee or pay per collection basis, will compel collectors to introduce a charging system that promotes greater segregation of waste, improves recycling and allows householders to save on their bills.

Currently some householders are charged a collection rate that compensates collectors for each green/brown bin collected. Even where there isn’t a direct charge for green/brown bin, the cost of this service is priced into the overall charge.

While some people might think that this will mean that they are to be charged for the first time for the recycling bin, the reality is that all households have always been charged in some way for this service. Where a collector offered this bin at a zero charge, the true price was reflected in higher residual waste charges. In other words, the recycling bin was paid for by hidden cross-subsidisation. Under the new system there will be no such hidden costs and customers will have clear sight of how the weight of waste they generate translates into cost. „Weigh less, pay less“ is the simple maxim.

„Pay-By-Weight is the most effective waste prevention mechanism we have. Diversion from landfill will likely grow by as much as 35 per cent or 440,000 tonnes. Meanwhile we expect recycling levels to increase by over 30 per cent and put into a much more productive use under the new system“, the Minister told.

Analysis using EPA and CSO data will show that 87 per cent of households will see a reduction in their waste bills, 8.5 per cent will see no change and a small number of households may see a higher bill – but with proper awareness and segregation, the potential is for everyone to see a reduced bill.

Pay-by-weight for domestic waste became operational in July 2015 with collection companies having their collection vehicles collecting pay-by-weight data per household since then. An information campaign to inform customers will kick off shortly.

Source: Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government