Updated: 21/10/16 : 06:17:20
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Sligo bin company still charging by weight

A SLIGO bin company is still charging customers by weight to collect their rubbish.

This is despite the 12 month embargo on any such payments, innmmandatory, which emerged last summer.

Fine Gael TD Tony McLoughlin raised the issue in the Dáil on Wednesday afternoon.

Details of the company were also supplied by the Sligo TD to Denis Naughten, the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources.

Deputy McLoughlin said the weight charge was happening ''even after the 12-month period for delaying its introduction was introduced.''

He asked the Minister ''if his attention had been drawn to the fact'' and asked ''if this is allowed.''

No Proof

The Sligo TD also sought details of legislation around the bin charges issue.

''There are fears,'' said Deputy McLoughlin, ''that the weight of bins will be overstated.''

There are fears, he explained, ''there will be no proof to counter this claim.''

Still Open

Minister Naughten confirmed an order stopping mandatory 'pay by weight' charges had been made on June 30th last.

''However,'' he added, ''it is still open to a company to charge on a pay-by-weight basis.

''If they are charging the same fee for the same level of service then this does not run contrary to the agreement.  

''Indeed, many companies already had a pay-by-weight element to their charging structure before the agreement was reached,'' he confirmed.

Said Minister Naughten: ''Their customers are quite happy with this approach.''

He recalled the waste industry began releasing its proposed prices under pay-by-weight last June. 

''Government relayed its concern to the industry regarding the reported escalation of waste bills for customers of certain companies,'' the Minister told Deputy McLoughlin.

''On foot of this,'' he added, ''my Department engaged with representatives of the waste industry to agree a way forward.

Customers would pay no more for the same level of service over the 12 months to July 1st 2017 than they were paying in June 2016 for waste collection.

Inspectors in the National Standards Authority of Ireland had responsibility for ensuring the accuracy of weighing instruments, said the Minister.