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Residential waste collection prices fluctuate in January

2 Mar 2020

money

January 2020 data – There was a high degree of price fluctuation recorded in the month of January. Price fluctuations ranged from increases and decreases to monthly service charges, waste, recycling and compost lift charges and per KG excess charges.

The January price data is based on analysis conducted across a selection of licensed residential waste collection firms. This comprises 19 individual companies, with some firms operating in more than one area. In total, 26 markets were monitored.

Pricing landscape for residential waste collection is complex and streamlining efforts by waste collection firms appear to be solidifying.

Although the majority of residential waste collection firms offer multiple waste collection packages to their customers, we observed that the majority have coalesced around a single one; Service Charge Including weight Allowance Plus Per KG Excess Charge Above Allowance.

During the January 2020 mystery-shopping campaign, a new tactic was used to confirm prices. Our mystery callers simply observed the prices being quoted by staff employed at waste collection firms. While this resulted in the majority of firms quoting on the most popular package, it also highlighted a failure to refer callers to check on other offers available on company websites. In effect, it meant about 33% of available offers were not immediately communicated.

At first glance, it appeared firms had eliminated a significant number of pricing packages but on secondary checks, many companies had additional offers available but communicated only through their websites.

This does raise important customer service issues as waste collection packages still available are not being communicated over the phone. For members of the public that contact firms, it means they may be unaware of the full range of offers available to them and more important, in many cases, are not being prompted to check company websites for a full listing of offers available at any given time.

In January, there was no change in the total number of price packages which still stands at 8. Examples of price packages include: Service charge plus per kg weight chargeE-tag and other options.  The total number of waste collection price packages across all of the monitored firms is 46, a decrease of 3 from the previous month. A full breakdown of all service offers is included in the data part of this report.

Where prices did change

January price variations are as follows:

  • Service Provider A – Increased Waste, Recycling and Organic lift charges to €10, €5.50 and€5.50 from €7.50, €0 and €4 respectively - (Service charge plus charge per lift per bin). 
  • Serice Provider A – Decreased the per KG charge for waste from €0.35 to €0.33 (Service Charge plus Per KG Weigh Charge).
  • Service Provider B – Increased the excess waste lift charge from €0.12 to €0.24 (Service charge (incl weight allowance) plus per kg charge for excess weight above allowance).
  • Service Provider B – Added a per KG charge of 18cent on recycling (Service charge plus per KG weight charge).
  • Service Provider B – Increased the weight lift charge from €9 to €10 and the organic lift charge from €5 to €5.50 (Service charge plus charge per lift per bin).
  • Service Provider C – Increased the monthly service charge from €10.50 to €15 (Service charge plus kg weight charge).
  • Service Provider C – Decreased the monthly service charge from €13.50 to €10.50 (Service charge plus charge per lift per bin).
  • Service Provider D – Decreased the annual service charge from €25.83 to €19 per month - (Service charge (incl weight allowance) plus per kg charge for excess weight above allowance).
  • Service Provider E – Increased the annual service charge from €25.83 to €26.67 (Service charge incl weight allowance plus per kg charge for excess weight above allowance). This provider also offers the same package in a different location where it increased the annual service charge from €29.16 to €30.
  • Service Provider F – Increased the annual service charge from €23.17 to €25.80 (Service Charge plus Weight Band Charge). In the case of this provider, its prices rise and fall every month and this price returns it to an average charge band since the beginning of this series.
  • Service Provider G – Increased the annual service charge from €25.50 to €27 (Service charge (incl weight allowance) plus per kg charge for excess weight above allowance).
  • Service Provider I – Increased the waste lift charge from €12 to €13.50, the recycling and compost lift charges are being quoted at €12, up from €3 (Service charge (incl weight allowance) plus per kg charge for excess weight above allowance).
  • Service Provider L – Increased the monthly service charge from €7.40 to €8.40 (Service charge plus charge per lift per bin plus KG excess charge)
  • Service Provider M – Increased the annual service charge from €10.75 to €12.50 and eliminated the compost bin charge (Service Charge Plus per KG Weight Charge).
  • Service Provider O – Increased the waste lift charge from €9.05 to €9.35 (Service Charge plus Charge per Lift per Bin plus Per KG excess charge).
  • Service Provider S – Decreased annual service charge from €29.00 to €26.75 (Service charge (incl weight allowance) plus per kg charge for excess weight above allowance).
  • Service Provider W – Decreased the compost lift charge from €5.50 to €5 and increased the recycling lift charge from €1.25 to €1.75 (Service charge plus charge per lift per bin plus KG excess charge).
  • Service Provider Y - Decreased the compost lift charge from €5.50 to €5 and increased the recycling lift charge from €1.25 to €1.75 (Service charge plus charge per lift per bin plus KG excess charge).

Communication of price data

During the January price monitoring campaign, as highlighted, when contacted by phone only, firms provided price information on the most popular service offering without directing callers to their websites where additional offers were available.

Why information is anonymised

The purpose of the Price Monitoring Group is to establish and track whether the prices householders pay for the collection of household waste fluctuates and if so, by how much. It does this by using a mystery-shopping approach to a proportion of licensed waste collection firms. However, since price monitoring is not carried out on a whole-of-market basis, it is not in a position to publish names of those firms that are actively monitored.

Composition of the PMG

The group comprises representatives from:

  • Waste Policy & Resource Efficiency Division
  • An economist from the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment,
  • A statistician from the Central Statistics Office.
  • Shelfwatch – an independent price monitoring group and
  • Frank Conway, (MoneyWhizz) – independent consumer expert.

To date, the Price Monitoring Group has met on thirty separate occasions: 13th September 2017, 11th October,  14th November, 12th December, 9th January 2018, 13th February, 13th of March, 10th April, 14th, May, 20th June, 17th July, August 14th, September 11th, October 16th, November 14th, December 11th 2018, January 15th 2019, February 12th, March 14th, April 9th , May 14th June 11th, July 9th, August 20th 2019, September 10th, 2019, October 8th 2019, November 12th 2019, December 16th 2019, January 22nd 2020 and February 17th 2020.

 The monthly analysis data can be found on the Department's website here