This weeks announcement of a ban on fixed-price waste collection to be introduced by the Government sparked fears it will mean higher bills for households.
Environment Denis Naughten said under the new scheme waste companies will still be allowed to apply standing charges, but they will also have to contain a usage element such as pay-by-weight or pay per lift.
The change will affect up to 600,000 customers, mainly in the Dublin area, who pay a fixed monthly fee, sometimes around €17 a month, for all waste collection.
All new customers and those renewing their contracts after 1 July will have to take up the new system.
Minister Naughten said the reason for the change is to give households a financial reason to recycle.
Now Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has admitted some households will face higher bills under the new rules.
“It is the case that some people will face a rise in bills, that will often be where private providers are providing a service below cost.
“Providing a service below cost is not sustainable even if it was given back to the local authorities they would not be able to provide a service below cost, infact, the increase would potentially be even higher in those circumstances.”
Sinn Fein say the new bin charges are based on Donald Trump style economics with their Environment spokesman Brian Stanley saying it won’t work.
“This is the economics and policies of Donald Trump or Theresa May that’s what this looks like.
“One group that is going to be badly affected is a low paid worker with a few children in nappies who is living in rented accommodation, who can’t get onto a local authority waiting list, who can’t get a mortgage to buy a house.”
There have even been calls for local authorities to resume public bin collection services with Gavin Mendel-Gleason, Workers’ Party representative for Dublin North West, calling on Dublin City Council to immediately begin moving towards public bin collection.
“Waste collection is a basic service which impacts on our common spaces, public health and environment. It is right and proper that it would be provided on a not-for-profit basis by the state, not by profit-hungry private companies.
“We saw first time round how private companies would use the bin charges to squeeze more money from households.
“Now, Fine Gael have allowed the exact same policy which caused the exorbitant hikes just a year ago, to be re-introduced with the exact same consequences – higher charges for shoddy, low quality services.”