The Irish EPA is wrong to recommend that customers be charged by weight for trash collection if they are genuinely concerned about landfills filling up.
The Environmental Protection Agency says landfill space is running out and that more than half of the 28 landfills will be full in 3 years. The problem, according to the EPA is that too many homeowners are paying a flat annual fee. They don't say it outright (or at least it's not mentioned here) , but the implication is that those who pay a flat annual fee make little effort at recycling.
So, scrap those annual fees and charge people by the weight of the garbage they produce.
Yet the issue is that the landfills are filling up, not that they weigh too much. So why charge by weight? It makes much more sense to charge by volume.
I would doubt many in Ireland make the effort I make to recycle. All paper, plastic, cartons, etc are now recycled. I've been encouraged to do this by our local refuse companies. We have a number operating in this area, one of which charges €8.80 each time you put out the 240L trash can. (Okay, bin!)
I put mine out once a month and when I do it is very heavy. It's heavy because most of the weight in a family's waste production is in heavy, damp food waste. Plastic bottles take up a lot of room, but they don't add a lot of weight. By ensuring that everything that can be recycled is recycled I have a food-waste-laden can each time I put it out to be collected.
If everyone did this our landfills would fill up much more slowly. The other advantage to this method is that most of the garbage people throw out will be natural, food waste. Charge by volume and you get landfills filling more slowly and the waste there breaking down more quickly. A double winner.
* I store our recycling and every month I fill the car and go to the local recycling center rather than pay to have it collected.