THE PRIVATISATION OF waste collection in Dublin City has been criticised after a councillor said she and her colleagues were told yesterday that it costs the council between €250 – €300,000 a year to dispose of illegal rubbish.
Dublin City Council central area manager Charlie Lowe met with city councillors for the central area to brief them on the illegal dumping/litter situation.
Cllr Mary Fitzpatrick said that at the meeting Lowe told them that Dublin City Council is collecting thousands of dumped bags every day at a cost of ‘between €250- and €300,000 per year’ to dispose of it.
The Fianna Fáil councillor said that this problem “was caused by the disastrous decision of the majority Labour and Fine Gael Councillors to privatise bin collections in Dublin City in 2012″.
I think the city council made a mistake when they were privatised the bin service in that they didn’t fully understand what the impact on the ground would be.
She said the privatisation was “always going to end in disaster” because “there is no regulator for waste collections, the government has failed to introduce the national bin waiver scheme they promised, the legislative changes that are needed to bring effective prosecutions are not in place and there is no evidence of any real savings”.
Cllr Fitzpatrick said that at the meeting she objected to the recent proposal that Dublin City Council stops cleaning in parts of Dublin’s north inner city in an effort to curb illegal dumping.
The proposal came on foot of the setting up of an action group to deal with the issue. “To do this would be wrong. It would make a bad situation worse,” said the councillor.
It would penalise responsible residents who do dispose of their rubbish properly. It will send the wrong message about Dublin Central and damage the local community and businesses.
She has now called on Dublin City Council to introduce a low cost weekly community collection that will allow people avail of a pay-as you go, group collection. She is also calling for the council to extend the opening hours for bring centres in the central area.
The area manager agreed to consider the views of the councillors and to bring a report to the next meeting of the Central Area Committee in May 2013 on this.
Cllr Fitzgerald said that she hoped privatisation could be ended, and that she wouldn’t accept it could not be ended because of a cost issue as “what we have at the moment is all of this cost being incurred and absolutely no revenue – it is unsustainable”.
She also criticised the prices of bags set by some private waste collectors, saying one company charges €9 for three bags which is “an outrageous charge”.
“I do have confidence in the central area manager and the area staff ,” she concluded, saying that they are “taking a very difficult task and they are putting significant effort into trying to solve it.”