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It would cost Dublin City Council €29 million per year to resume household waste collection, council says

The council stopped household waste collection in 2012.

A waste collection truck in Dublin in 2012
A waste collection truck in Dublin in 2012
Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

DUBLIN CITY COUNCIL has said it would cost €29 million per year for it to take charge of household waste collection in the city. 

A council report drafted in response to a motion by People Before Profit councillor Tina MacVeigh – who wants the council to re-enter the waste collection market – notes that “there have been considerable changes to the market” since it stopped collecting household waste. 

“Significant investment” would also be needed in terms of both personnel and capital equipment.

The council stopped waste collection in Dublin city in 2012. Since then, a number of private operators including Greyhound, Panda and City Bin, have collected household waste.

Factors considered by the council include revenue generation, disposal costs and competition from private companies. 

Based on estimates from 2011 when the council was still operating household waste collection, the council estimates that it would require at least 147 staff to operate household waste collection across the city again with wages and salaries estimated to cost €6 million per year. 

Vehicle maintenance and repair could cost the council nearly €2 million annually, the report notes, while disposal costs could be up to €7 million each year.

‘Highly competitive market’

When the council collected household waste it also operated a “waiver scheme” based on household incomes. The estimated cost of this scheme would now be €4.8 million per year, according to the council report.

The current rental and operation of a single bin truck is estimated at approximately €65,000 per year, the council says. 

Dublin City Council no longer owns any household bins after the ownership of bins was transferred to Greyhound at the time of DCC’s exit from the waste collection market.

For the council to provide three bins per household in Dublin free of charge would cost an estimated €2.1 million for every 20,000 customers. 

In addition, assistant chief executive Dick Brady has said that the council would effectively have to “offer its collection service at a highly competitive level in opposition to the existing private waste collection companies and invite the public to join up with us as customers”. 

Since it exited the household waste collection market, the council has been trialing initiatives to reduce – or punish – littering and illegal dumping in recent years. 

Dublin City Council dealt with over 14,000 cases of illegal dumping complaints between 2012 and 2018 with over 6,000 bags of illegally dumped rubbish left in Dublin’s north inner city last year.

Tactics to prevent the practice include ‘naming and shaming’ through the use of CCTV images. 

In 2017, the council initiated 322 legal actions against people illegally dumping and took 95 legal actions last year. 

The cost of removing and disposing of illegally dumped waste in Dublin was estimated to be €1.1m.

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