Sunday 22 April 2018

Waste collectors may stop collecting bin bags from 900 streets for ‘health and safety reasons’

Photo: Getty
Photo: Getty
Daire Courtney

Daire Courtney

Ireland’s largest household waste company will ‘reconsider’ the collection of bin bags due to health and safety concerns for its workers.

A statement from Greyhound said: “Recently, a collection worker's hand was pierced by a used syringe discarded in a bag while a child in Ballymun also came into contact with syringes.”

The company have called for Dublin City Council to provide bins to the streets currently using bags.

“Under EU legislation introduced in July, the collection of bags was to be banned,” the statement continued.

“However, following lobbying from a small number of local representatives 900 of 1,000 roads were provided a derogation from the legislation by Dublin City Council. Previous indications were that 900 of the 1,000 streets could accommodate bins.”

Greyhound's Managing Director, John Brosnan, said: “We have a duty of care to our employees and must re-assess, as a matter or urgency, the dangers to which they are being exposed. Local children are also being exposed to risk.

“There is also an ongoing problem with counterfeit bags. In recent weeks , Gardai seized €350,000 worth of counterfeit bags in a raid on a warehouse, confirming that organised criminals are involved in their production. The worst litter black spots in Dublin are in bag areas, which encourage illegal dumping.”

Speaking to, Conor Quinn, a spokesperson for Greyhound, said: “These counterfeit bags are sold locally by organised criminals. We reckon about one third of all Greyhound bags in circulation are counterfeit.”

Gary Gannon, a Councillor for Dublin’s North Inner City, said the statement was “ridiculous”.

“Bags have been collected from Dublin streets for decades, but the recent privatisation has resulted in companies providing a poor service to people. These companies often miss streets or won’t collect bags if cats or rodents have been at them and they get left on the street.”

In response to the claim that most streets could accommodate bins, Cllr Gannon said: “We’re talking about narrow streets in the middle of the city where many people use side entrances or don’t have front gardens. People can’t be expected to bring their bins in and out through their houses; it’s just not practical.”

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