The changes for bin charge calculations were announced late in 2014 as part of a review of national waste policy. The pay-by-weight proposal is designed to increase recycling rates and reduce the amount of waste being sent to landfill, but there are concerns that it could also result in higher bills for some customers who refuse to change their ways.
The new rules will mean that waste companies will no longer be allowed charge an annual flat fee – called a Service Charge – to customers. Three bins must be provided and minimum rates per kilogramme of waste applied.
- 11 cent per kilogramme of black bin, or residual waste;
- 6 cent per kilogramme of food or brown bin waste; and
- 2 cent per kilogramme for green or recyclable waste.
This will now mean that customers will have to pay for green bin waste which previously was “free”.
However, the Department of the Environment states that the cost of recycling green waste has always been factored into the overall charges. They say that the new charges are designed in accordance with the polluter pays principle and the charges will reflect the cost to the waste company to collect the material and prepare it for recycling.
Household charges will be determined by the weight of the material sent for processing, the charge per kilogramme imposed by the collector and the level of waste separation.
Families that use the brown and green bins will pay lower charges than those who use only the black bin, but larger households which may have benefited from a flat-fee charge can expect to pay more.
The likelihood is that larger households producing higher than average volumes of waste will pay more than under flat rate or pay-per-lift systems, while smaller households will see their bills decrease.
The system was supposed to be introduced last summer but was delayed for a year. All operators must switch to the new system on July 1. For homeowners who paid a flat-rate fee for the year, they will have to discuss the changes with their provider..One thing is for sure, budget plans on the household expenditure are going to have to be amended.