The consumer watchdog has concerns about a 'natural monopoly' in the Irish waste sector

The average home now pays between €230 – €280 a year in waste collection charges.

By Fora Staff

THE COMPETITION AND Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has called for the regulation of Ireland’s waste collection market amid concerns over a lack of competition in the sector.

The recommendation was part of the watchdog’s report into the waste collection market following a request by Environment Minister Denis Naughten.

The report looked at the household waste collection market from a competition, consumer protection and regulatory perspective and found that Ireland’s waste collection market was “extremely complex”.

The collection market exhibited the characteristics of “a natural monopoly”, according to the report, in which just 15% of those with a choice of waste collection provider have ever switched.

It also found that the average home now pays €230 – €280 a year in waste collection charges.

CCPC chairperson Isolde Goggin said that State, commercial and consumer interests were continually overlapping and often in conflict with each other in the Irish market.

As a result, she said that government policy needed to be reviewed and economic regulation should be introduced to make the market work better for everyone.

“In theory, side-by-side competition should allow for multiple suppliers and consumer choice,” Goggin said.

“However, in reality, the domestic waste collection market in Ireland is highly concentrated and becoming increasingly so. As a result consumers have little or no power to influence the behaviour of operators in this market.”

The CCPC report also recommended that the government should review its policy document, “A Resource Opportunity: Waste Management Policy in Ireland” and said the State should ensure its resources were co-ordinated to deliver better market outcomes.

Written by Stephen McDermott and posted on TheJournal.ie

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