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Strike looms in bins service row

THE decision by a Dublin council to privatise its bin collection service has put the Poolbeg incinerator plan in jeopardy, a councillor has warned.

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council announced it would no longer operate its own grey and green bin waste service last May -- and appointed Panda as the new provider.

But Labour councillor Denis O'Callaghan said the county's waste would be brought to landfill rather than the Poolbeg incinerator, which was a condition set out by the Dublin Waste Management Plan.

"It puts the project in jeopardy because now we can have people who were opposed to Poolbeg saying that DLR won't go for it, so there's no need for the size of Poolbeg," he said.

"We had given a commitment to the incinerator in Poolbeg. Panda is going to landfill which is against the regional waste plan. I have publicly told the manager that it is the worst decision for any manager to have made."

Arrears

The announcement that Panda would take over the bin collections came after a report from local government auditor Anthony Doheny revealed there were almost €27m in bin charge arrears from households.

But Cllr O'Callaghan insists the council's waste collection service should have been heavily advertised.

"Panda provide a good and cheaper service but that's not the point. Dun Laoghaire Rathdown introduced pay by weight and then Panda entered into the market and undercut the council by 25pc."

A council spokesperson said yesterday "there will be no impact" on the viability of the Poolbeg incinerator project as a result of the council's decision to privatise the collection.

But the councillor stressed that 18,000 customers in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown county will be without waste collection service next week when Siptu workers go on strike before Panda takes over.

Siptu workers will begin a strike on Thursday with Siptu branch organiser Ramon O'Reilly warned that the cost of collection would soar under privatisation.

hnews@herald.ie


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