Household Waste Policy in Ireland: Options for Competition, Environment and Regulation
A review of household waste (HHW) policy has been announced. Competition in HHW collection is evolving towards a series of local monopolies which, combined with high barriers to entry, create the conditions for rents to be earned. So much for market failure, what is the solution? This paper presents arguments in favour of competitive tendering, including: HHW collection charges should be more attractive as rents are eliminated; CO2 emissions and congestion costs would be reduced as there is no inefficient duplication; and complementary mechanisms can ensure that HHW collection charges do not get too high in low density areas, thereby protecting the positive externalities of broader take-up of HHW collection services.