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Bin firms braced for stiff penalties

WASTE collectors like Greyhound could soon be fined for failing to collect bins.

Dublin City councillors are looking at plans to implement a penalty regime.

Labour councillor Oisin Quinn, who is behind the plan, said waste operators should be penalised for missing roads on designated collection days.

His proposal arose from the problems residents have experienced since Greyhound took over the bin service in January, Mr Quinn told the Herald.


Since then, Mr Quinn has received many complaints from customers whose bins have not been collected on the correct day.

Now, he has asked City Manager John Tierney to bring forward a detailed proposal to impose fines on guilty waste collection companies.

He said the problem had caused littering and public order difficulties for residents. In one incident, containers in Rugby Villas in Ranelagh, Dublin 6, were set alight after they were left unemptied by Greyhound, causing damage to a nearby car and house, the councillor said.

"It was quite a serious situation," he added.

By introducing fines, operators would have an economic incentive to ensure all bins were collected, he believes.

His motion will be debated at Monday's meeting and, if accepted, will be forwarded to Mr Tierney for consideration.

Mr Quinn believes there is support for his proposal among council officials.

In the early weeks of the changeover, widespread problems were experienced by residents.

Uncollected bins were left on the streets for days.

The situation was described as an "absolute shambles" by Mayor Andrew Montague.

Environment Minister Phil Hogan said the buck stopped with Dublin City Council.

The council stopped providing a domestic waste service to its 140,000 customers on January 13, but in the ensuing row, Fine Gael councillor Mary O'Shea said Greyhound and the council had "made a mess" of the changeover.

Fianna Fail councillor Mary Fitzpatrick described it as a "low point in the history of the city council".


However, Greyhound defended itself, saying it did not miss collections or fail to lift bins.

The complaints were the result of customer misunderstanding, the company claimed.

"When bins have been left out on the correct day, they have been collected," the company said in January.

The service is generally considered to have improved during recent months.