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Environment Minister slams 'race to the bottom' mentality in waste collection sector

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Environment Minister Alan Kelly

Environment Minister Alan Kelly

Environment Minister Alan Kelly

There is a currently a "race to the bottom" mentality in the household waste collection sector, according to Environment Minister, Alan Kelly.

And he warned it needs to be "shaken up, modernised, and professionalised."

He also said this race to the bottom is "destabilising" industrial relations in the sector.

"I support the concept of a statutory wage-setting mechanism for the industry to ensure stabiity, certainty and industrial peace."

Included in new measures to be rolled out next year will be a provision of "paying by weight" for customers.

The Minister says this will help towards the long-term goal of a zero waste policy.

But he said the Government currently doesn't have "adequate levers" to fully regulate services.

The Minister is particularly concerned at the level of below-cost selling and the consequences this can have for the environment.

He also criticised the standard of service being offered by a number of collectors.

"They are merely ticking boxes when it comes to their customer charters," he said.

A ban on low-cost operations in the industry will form part of proposed new measures.

Waste collection companies have been warned that they are in "last chance saloon" and there will be serious repercussions if they do not meet agreed minimum standards.

If they do not adhere to the new guidelines they will be subject to an "automatic" permit review.

Online Editors