This weeks announcement of a ban on fixed-price waste collection to be introduced by the Government sparked fears it will mean higher bills for households.

Environment Denis Naughten said under the new scheme waste companies will still be allowed to apply standing charges, but they will also have to contain a usage element such as pay-by-weight or pay per lift.

The change will affect up to 600,000 customers, mainly in the Dublin area, who pay a fixed monthly fee, sometimes around €17 a month, for all waste collection.

All new customers and those renewing their contracts after 1 July will have to take up the new system.

Minister Naughten said the reason for the change is to give households a financial reason to recycle.

Now Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has admitted some households will face higher bills under the new rules.

“It is the case that some people will face a rise in bills, that will often be where private providers are providing a service below cost.

“Providing a service below cost is not sustainable even if it was given back to the local authorities they would not be able to provide a service below cost, infact, the increase would potentially be even higher in those circumstances.”