Friday 23 February 2018

Whistleblowers add to bin cartel claims

Two waste industry whistleblowers have come forward with new information after the Sunday Independent revealed the State’s competition watchdog was investigating claims that a cartel was operating in the industry. Stock Image
Two waste industry whistleblowers have come forward with new information after the Sunday Independent revealed the State’s competition watchdog was investigating claims that a cartel was operating in the industry. Stock Image
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

Two waste industry whistleblowers have come forward with new information after the Sunday Independent revealed the State's competition watchdog was investigating claims that a cartel was operating in the industry.

The whistleblowers made contact with the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) and are set to give detailed statements to investigators in the coming weeks.

One of the whistleblowers is understood to have held senior positions with firms working in the industry and is prepared to give evidence against his former employers.

The whistleblower claims to have first-hand knowledge of meetings where non-compete agreements between firms were discussed.

The individual will also claim deals struck between companies operating in the commercial waste sector are even more concerning than those organised by firms operating in the domestic industry.

The new claims emerged after it was revealed that the CCPC was examining a recording of a waste company staff member apparently admitting that firms carve up areas of the capital for bin collections - a breach of competition law.

The competition watchdog has been working to corroborated the claims made by the staff member, who it is understood has refused to cooperate with the investigation.

The recording was provided to the watchdog by Independent Fingal county councillor Keith Redmond.

Yesterday, Mr Redmond welcomed the new information being provided to the CCPC by the two whistleblowers and called for the pay-by-weight charging system to be suspended.

"I'm delighted that two more whistleblowers from within the industry have come forward to assist the CCPC. The minister can not ignore what is becoming more and more obvious by the day. The new bin charging regime is a licence to gouge. It needs to be suspended until the CCPC has reported," he said.

A CCPC spokesman said the watchdog does not comment on ongoing investigations.

Sunday Independent

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