Taxpayers to foot bill for bins left by waste firm
TAXPAYERS face a clean-up bill if a private waste company carries out its threat not to collect waste from 18,000 householders who fail to pay at least half of the controversial €100 annual service charge by tomorrow.
An Environment Department spokesman told the Irish Independent yesterday that ultimate responsibility lies with Dublin City Council to clean up uncollected rubbish in the city -- leaving the taxpayer liable for a massive clean-up bill.
"If waste is uncollected on Thursday and if health and safety issues arise then ultimate responsibility lies with the local authority, in this case Dublin City Council, as they implement the legislation," the Department of the Environment spokesman said.
"The local authority have ultimate responsibility in relation to the implementation of waste management regulations. Therefore, responsibility for cleaning the streets lies with them,'' he added.
Private waste company Greyhound Recycling took over bin collection services of almost 150,000 customers last month in areas that had been serviced by the council for more than 150 years.
However, some 18,000 of those customers have so far failed to pay the €100 service charge levied by Greyhound.
Councillors yesterday warned of impending health and safety issues facing the city authorities.
"Dublin City Council has the responsibility to collect waste or ensure waste is collected.
"A clean-up of this size will easier run into the tens of thousands, if not millions of euro over a course of a year.
"Something needs to be done immediately to avert a crisis," said local councillor Rebecca Moynihan.
A statement by Greyhound said that it categorically refuses to collect rubbish from customers who fail to pay -- and that no exceptions will be made.
"Greyhound will not collect bins from households after this Thursday unless a payment has been made towards the annual service charge and accounts are in credit to meet the cost of each bin collection," the statement read.
"We have a simple system for identifying which households have paid for the service -- and those who have not will not have their bins collected.
"There will be no exceptions to that policy."
Sinn Fein TD for Dublin Central, Mary Lou McDonald yesterday described the Envornment Minister as "brazen" and accused him of "washing his hands of the impending waste crisis in Dublin city".
"Illegal dumping across the city is already at unacceptable levels, so it is unimaginable what it will be like if Greyhound refuses to pick up the household waste of 18,000 homes across the city for an indefinite period," she said.
"This will amount to a very serious public health issue."
Dublin City Council refused to comment.