Waste firms at war over plans for single bin day

Cormac Murphy

DUBLIN city chiefs and waste operators are in dispute over a proposal for a single bin collection day.

The plan would involve dividing the city into districts and restricting collection in each area to one day a week.

It is aimed at dealing with concerns from members of the public that waste is being left out five days a week on some roads.

Depending on which company they are with, neighbours on the same street can put out their rubbish on different days.

Private operators, through the Irish Waste Management Association (IWMA), have lobbied the council against the plan as it would make life very difficult for smaller companies.

As officials and the IWMA have yet to agree, it was not included in new draft by-laws governing waste collection. But the council is keen on pursuing the scheme and may include it in the final version of the by-laws before their expected introduction next April.

Assistant city manager Seamus Lyons told councillors that, after several meetings with the IWMA, an affiliate of business group IBEC, the parties are "at odds" on the plan.

The council says the proposal came about as a result of public consultation, with submissions from some householders saying they don't want to see bins on their road five days a week.

The measure would not apply in the central commercial district (CCD) -- an area of the inner city bounded by Parnell Street, Capel Steet and Gardiner Street Lower on the northside and Aungier Street, St Stephen's Green, Merrion Street Upper and Westland Row on the southside.

City official Damian Drumm said the plan would work by "breaking the city up into geographical areas" and restricting collection in each area to one day a week.


"For the bigger companies, it's not a major issue," he said.

But smaller companies collect bins across the northside one day a week and the southside on another day, he added.

The firms would run into problems if they had to operate on the northside or southside over a number of days.

The IWMA did not comment when contacted by the Herald.

Sinn Fein's Anthony Connaghan pointed out that waste operators might consider challenging the proposal with the Competition Authority if it was introduced.

Speaking at the council's environment strategic policy committee (SPC), he raised the question of whether the move would end up costing the local authority money in expensive legal fees.

But Labour's Oisin Quinn said the present situation, where large numbers of bin trucks go down roads on different days, was "environmentally stupid".

The Draft By-Laws for the Storage, Presentation and Collection of Household & Commercial Waste 2012 was brought before the SPC recently.