Introduction of Weight-Based Charges for Domestic Solid Waste Disposal

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Resource or Project Abstract

The main purpose of this project is to assess whether weight-based charging can contribute to achieving reductions in the generation of solid waste by households.In order to gain insights into how households respond, it is important that they be confronted by a real change, rather then a hypothetical one, so that alteration in their behaviour can be generalised.
In order to set the trial in a realistic context, the research team sought out local authorities that were introducing weight-based charging schemes and, more demanding, that were willing and able to co-operate in the research. Co-operation involved agreement on the part of the selected local authority to make available the recorded
weights of waste for a sample of households before and after the introduction of weight-based charges.

In addition to the measured weights of household refuse, a second data set would be generated from a household survey. The survey data would be merged with the data on weights of waste collected. The survey would give
information on household composition, socio-economic characteristics and other aspects that would be relevant to households? waste generation and their reactions to the introduction of the new charging regime.

Negotiations with several local authorities took place and finally, West Cork County Council?s introduction of weightbased
charging was selected as the subject for analysis. The sample size of households that were interviewed concerning the new charging regime numbered some 1200 households. Of these, nearly 300 households had associated usable data on weights of waste collected, before and after the introduction of the charging regime,
recorded by West Cork County Council.

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Contact Information for This Resource

Dr. Sue Scott
Economic and Social Research Institute

Dr. Dorothy Watson
Economic and Social Research Institute

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Data, Files, Information Objects Related To This Project Resource

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Attachment Name and Download Link
Att 1    Report-2000-DS-6-M1.pdf   (2.18 Mb)

Suggested Citation Information

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Author(s)Scott, S. Watson, D.
Title Of WebsiteSecure Archive For Environmental Research Data
Publication InformationIntroduction of Weight-Based Charges for Domestic Solid Waste Disposal
Name of OrganisationEnvironmental Protection Agency Ireland
Electronic Address or URL
Unique Identifierb7069328-d426-102a-90c6-0593d266866d
Date of AccessLast Updated on SAFER: 2024-04-17

An example of this citation in proper usage:

Scott, S. Watson, D.   "Introduction of Weight-Based Charges for Domestic Solid Waste Disposal". Associated datasets and digitial information objects connected to this resource are available at: Secure Archive For Environmental Research Data (SAFER) managed by Environmental Protection Agency Ireland (Last Accessed: 2024-04-17)


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Access Information For This Resource

SAFER-Data Display URL
Resource Keywordssolid waste services Domestic Disposal fees waste household landfill
EPA/ERTDI/STRIVE Project Code2000-DS-6-M1
EPA/ERTDI/STRIVE Project ThemeWaste and Resource Management
Resource Availability: Any User Can Download Files From This Resource
Limitations on the use of this ResourceThe authors of this report should be cited in all subsequent uses of the findings of the report.
Number of Attached Files (Publicly and Openly Available for Download): 1
Project Start Date Monday 5th January 2004 (05-01-2004)
Earliest Recorded Date within any attached datasets or digital objects Monday 5th January 2004 (05-01-2004)
Most Recent Recorded Date within any attached datasets or digital objects Saturday 28th February 2004 (28-02-2004)
Published on SAFERThursday 25th October 2007 (25-10-2007)
Date of Last EditThursday 25th October 2007 at 09:45:16 (25-10-2007)
Datasets or Files Updated On Thursday 25th October 2007 at 09:44:43 (25-10-2007)

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Geographical and Spatial Information Related To This Resource

Description of Geographical Characteristics of This Project or Dataset
At the beginning of 2002 West Cork County Council set in place the procedures for the introduction of weight-based charges for the collection and disposal of waste in the West Cork area. The area includes Bantry, Castletownbere, Clonakilty (the town and the environs being two separate areas for collection purposes), and Skibbereen. These areas consist of approximately 1160 households. The survey population comprises private households in the area affected by the pay-by-weight scheme introduced in West Cork in 2003. With the help of West Cork County Council, the ESRI sent a letter to all customers in June 2003, to inform them about the study, describing its aims and methods.

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Supplementary Information About This Resource

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Lineage information about this project or dataset
The purpose of the study was to investigate the effects on householder behaviour of the introduction of pay-by-weight as a method of charging households for waste collection. The importance of this topic stems primarily from the desire to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill and to reduce the amount generated. It is of interest to the authorities, because of the resource implications, and to society in general to help informed choices to be made. Itis well known that, in theory, such charges would reduce the amount of waste collected but whether and how this would apply in an Irish case were questions worth investigating.
Supplementary Information
Interviewing was conducted by telephone in
January and February 2004.

A special subroutine was written in order to convert the data on the weights of waste collected from the format used in West Cork County Council?s routines, into household-based files. All the data were then analysed by means of the SPSS 12.00 for Windows software package.
Analysis of the demand for waste removal services, using Generalised Least Squares (GLS) was undertaken using the STATA software package.
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