New Bin Charges by Weight 2017

Pay by weight Bin Charges were originally due to become compulsory in Ireland  from July 1st 2016  – but they were suspended for a year after worries over bin charge price  increases.  The move to a nationwide pay-by-weight scheme for bins was not very popular,  mainly because of concerns of some that it would increase charges.  After just a few days of pressure – the government gave in and agreed with the  bin companies to suspend the introduction of pay by weight charging for 12 months until July 2017 .

The Department of  Communications, Energy and Natural Resources is undertaking a review of pricing structures for household waste collection.   The review is  looking at the possible future pricing structures to incentivise the prevention and segregation of household waste.

Note :  Whilst the current charging system will remain in place,  until July 2017 – householders will have the option to switch to the pay-by-weight system before then.

The new legislation on bin charges was due to come into force on July 1st 2016   – and it was supposed to result in  people paying  less if they produce less  waste .  At least 20% of households in Ireland already have bin charges based on pay-per-weight.

The compulsory charging by weight method will  hopefully encouragedmore recycling and reduce the amount of waste going into landfill.  Some people would have ended up paying less under the proposed 2016  charges – especially if they recycled more and put less waste in the black bins.  But it seems that many others would have paid  more – mainly those who already recycled a lot or have a small amount of waste. These people would have been hit by increased fixed annual service charges.

Faced with a potential loss of income if people disposed of less waste – it appears that some  bin companies  adjusted their charging methods to try and maintain income levels. Many of them increased their service charges drastically.

One benefit of the proposed new pay by weight charging system is that people will be able  put their bins out as often as they want and they will not be charged any more (in most cases) . So people will no longer have to put up with  bins full of a month’s worth of stinking rubbish outside the door .

Most bin companies will not be charging anything for the  recycling bins – so some people could reduce their overall bin charges by increasing the amount they recycle – thus reducing the weight in the standard waste bin (black).

In  July 2016 Minimum by weight charges were going to be set at the following rates :
11c/kg for(standard non recyclable) – usually Black Bins
6c/kg for organic/food  waste (usually a brown bin)
0c/kg for  recycling bins (Usually green)

There were  no maximum charges  per kg set in the new legislation. (This may change in July 2017)

Note: If you live in a town with a population of over 500 – your bin provider is obliged to give you a brown bin for food waste and other organic waste. Food waste is typically the heaviest waste – so by putting all your food waste in the brown compost bin you will pay a lower charge than you would if you put it in with the general waste.

Waste is typically split into Black bins for general waste,  Brown Bins for organic waste and  Green bins for recycling. In Dublin these bin colours seem to be standard for all bin collectors. In some areas of the country  they have different coloured bins.

Update May 2017

Greyhound started charging extra for black bin bags that exceed 42 kilograms (92 pounds) in May 2017 . Thay will charge 30 cent per kilo over the 42kg limit.

Panda have todl customers that  new weight limit of 40 kilograms per black bin lift will come into effect from July for health and safety reasons.  Thay say they will charge 27.7c per kg Over the 4oKg limit.

Bin Charges Compared July 2016 (These are the rates some of the  bin companies were planning to charge before the suspension was announced )

Green recycling bins are all zero charge unless stated otherwise.

Thorntons €104 annual service charge . 35c per kg black bin and 20c per kg for brown bin

Greyhound  €169 annual service charge   35c /kg for black bin ; 23c/kg brown bin. (They charge different prices for different areas)

Panda (Fingal)  €86 Annual Charge ; Black bin €3.20 per lift plus 27c per kg ; Brown Bin €2.56 per lift plus 16c per kg

City Bin  Dublin €155.48 service chg  20c/kg Black , 20c/Kg Brown

City Bin Athlone  €180 Annual Service chg ;  26c/kg Black   16c/kg Brown
OR €120 Ann an 35c per KG  20c/kg Brown

Barna – Galway  €144 annual charge  ; Black Bin 19c per kg; Green Bin 8c per kg; Brown bin €0.10 per kg.

Barna (Mayo)  Annual Charge €204 ; Black bin (General waste) 22c /kg  ; Brown Bin (compost) 12c/kg

Ray Whelan (Carlow)  Service Charge €168   ; Black bin  23c/kg ;Brown  16c/kg

Greenstar Cork – €234 annual service charge , Black Bin 18c /kg ; Brown bin   14c/kg
Greenstar Fingal €156 ann  33c/kg black bin , 20c/kg brown
Greenstar NW  €100 ann , 35c /kg black , 20c/kg Brown ;  5c/kg recycling (green)

AES – €180- ann chg , 25c/kg black , 15c/kg brown

McGraths (Co Mayo)  €352  annual  charge – which includes 300kg of residual waste (black bin)  After that they    at charge 22 cent per KG.

When (if)  everyone starts  being charged by weight – there might be a few sneaky people who start dumping waste into other people’s bins to try and reduce their own bin charges.  It will happen. You could buy one of these bin locks to stop that happening

There will probably be more roadside dumping of general waste and more garden burning of waste too – by people trying to to avoid these charges.

Will it Work ?

A national  survey in 2010 comparing household waste found that on average – homes with a pay-by-weight bin charges put 800kg a year in their bins  compared to 1294kg in pay-per-lift areas. This is a decrease of  38%.
The same survey also found that the average recycling rate for pay-by-weight households was 32% compared to just 20 or 21% for other charging methods.  ref


Euro Sterling Exchange Rate Update

Euro Sterling Exchange Rate  : May 23rd 2017 10am

GBP = 1.15 EUR

1 EUR = 0.87 GBP

See Latest  Exchange Rates Here

Over the course of the past week Sterling has dropped against the Euro by over 2% . To put this sort of move into monetary terms, purchasing €300,000 on Monday last week would today cost over £5,000 more

Three weeks ago a  EURO was worth  £0.8453 GBP.  Today , the Sterling to Euro exchange rate was  close to  £0.87
The Euro has also been helped by  France’s newly elected President Emmanuel Macron appointing his Prime Minister, Edouard Philippe. Philippe is a centre-right Republican and not from Macron’s new Centrist party. Macron’s choice is seen as an attempt to draw in key figures from both the left and right of French politics.

The upcoming UK elections could well see some volatility  for the Pound . With Merkel aiming to strengthen the euro in the near future and strenuous Brexit talks weighing heavily on the pound, could we soon see GBP/EUR below the lows we saw in October last year?

Over the past several months Brexit has cast a cloud of uncertainty over the currency markets. If you think that the last 9 months were volatile for the currency markets, brace yourself, as the next 2 years are likely to be even more so.

With so much  uncertainty in the currency markets at the moment –  it could get very stressful for people or businesses planning large Euro / Sterling exchanges in the next few months.   We are likely to be entering a period of heightened volatility which, depending on your timescales and budget, could cause problems if you are not properly prepared.

Using a Currency Exchange specialist  can remove some of the uncertainty by allowing you to fix an exchange rate as much as 12 months in advance of your transfer.  For good deals on large amounts of currency exchange –  for personal money or  for businesses – see our page on how to get the Best Exchange Rates

You might also be interested in this information about Transferring  Money from Ireland to a UK Bank

If you are just looking to buy some Pounds , Dollars  or other foreign cash for a holiday  – take a look at our page about the best place to buy travel currency in Ireland


euro sterling exchange rate ireland


Affordable ChildCare Scheme

As part of Budget 2017 – a new Single Affordable ChildCare  Scheme was announced to help families with payments for creche and nursery fees and other types of childcare such as after school care.  The new scheme is due to start in September 2017.
Every child between the ages of 6 months and 36 months in Tusla-registered childcare services will be eligible for some level of childcare support.

The government say that Childcare services across the country will be be invited , in May 2017, to be part of childcare changes which will see families benefit by an extra €19m from September.

This scheme will replace the existing  subsidy schemes – including the  Community Childcare Subvention Programme , After-School Child Care Scheme and the Childcare Education and Training Support Programme.
Payments will be made directly to childcare providers , not parents

Means-tested childcare subsidies, will be based on net parental income, and will be available for children between 6 months and 15 years.  Any family with a combined net parental income of less than €47,501 a year will qualify for some help. (We assume Child Benefit is not included in net income.) Families with higher income may also qualify if they have more than 1 child under 15. For example – the income threshold for a family with 3 children under 15 will be €55,100 .

The maximum proposed  rate of subsidy should result in parents only having to contribute on average  30c per hour towards childcare costs. This maximum subsidy will be payable to all those with net incomes below  €22,700 per annum.  (Net Income of  €436 per week).

The Dept. of Children and Youth Affairs based their figures on estimated average childcare fees of €4.50 per hour . Based on a 40 hour week – that would mean parents paying just €12 for 40 hours of childcare per week if they qualify for the maximum rate of subsidy.

As family income rises above €22,700 – the subsidy will decrease. A family with one child under 15 and net annual income over €47,500 a year will not qualify for the means tested subsidy.
The income thresholds increase by €3800 for each extra child under 15  –  so a family with three children under 15 years would have a maximum net income threshold of €55,100.

Some Examples of How the Single Subsidy Scheme Would Work (All based on hourly charges of €4.80 for 1 yr olds, €4.60 for 2 yr olds and 44.40 for school age)

a)  Lone parent, net annual income of €22,700,
One child aged 2, having 40 hours of childcare per week
Under the existing  schemes, this family would qualify for a subsidy of €95 per week and would be paying  €89 per week.
Under the new scheme, this family will qualify for a weekly subsidy of €167 and would be expected to pay just  €17 a week towards childcare. A gain of €72 per week.

b). Family with net annual income of €25,000, two children aged 1 and
2.5 years needing 25 hours of childcare per week per child.
Under  existing  schemes, this family could qualify for a total subsidy of €95 a week , leaving them with €140 per week to pay.
Under the new scheme, this family will qualify for a weekly subsidy of €214 , leaving just €21 a week to pay. A gain of €119 a week.

c) Family with net annual income of €35,000,  two children aged 1 and 2.5 years getting 25 hours of childcare per week each.
Under the existing schemes, this family would  qualify for a total subsidy of €50 per week , leaving them with  €185 per week to pay.
Under the new scheme, this family will qualify for a weekly subsidy of €149 ,leaving them to pay €86 a week – a gain of €99 per week.

d)  Family with net annual income of €47,500, with two children, one aged 2 years (40 hours childcare per week) and another aged 5 years (17 hours out-of-school care per week).
Under the existing  schemes, this family is unlikely to get any subsidy, and therefore would have to pay the full fee of €259 per week. Under the new scheme, this family will qualify for a weekly subsidy of €52 and will have to pay  €207 .

Child Care Subsidy Ireland

Other examples of  Income Levels and Child Care Subsidy
(Figures provided by Dept of Children and Youth Affairs)
In this example we have a family with 2 children aged 2 and 4. The 2 year old has 40 hours a week child care and the 4 year old has 25 hours on top of the ECCE scheme.

Net Income                        Childcare Subsidy
Weekly Amount

€18,000                            €266
€26,580                            €265
€33,697                             €195
€39,264                             €139
€45,514                             €77
€51,764                             €20

A Universal Child Care payment will apply to childcare fees for children aged between 6 months and three years old. The proposed maximum rate for this is €900 a year for full time childcare. (Based on €0.50 an hour , 40 hours a week , 45 weeks of the year)
All families will be able to get a this minimum of 50c per hour towards childcare for the above age groups – regardless of income.


Pension and Welfare Payment Arrangements June Bank Holiday

Department of Social Protection – arrangements for June Bank Holiday 2017
The Department’s offices are closed on Monday, 5 June 2017.

If you are due to sign for a jobseeker’s payment  on Monday 5 June 2017, you will not have to sign on that day. However, normal signing arrangements apply for the rest of the week.

If your  welfare or pension payment is due to be paid at a post office on Monday 5 June, you can collect it from Saturday 3 June. Note that all post offices will be closed on Monday 5th June

Payments made direct to bank accounts that are due on Monday 5 June will be paid instead  on Friday 2 June.