Latest threat of waste price hike exposes dysfunction of existing system

01 July 2024

Responding to latest threats of a price hike by private bin collection companies, Labour Senator Marie Sherlock said this latest threat is a reflection of the dysfunction of the waste management systerm in this country.

Senator Sherlock said:

“Our waste collection system is currently made up of private companies creaming profits off the collection of household waste. Meanwhile, local authorities are left to clean up the mess of illegal dumping and littering, while also providing free services such as recycling and composting.

“On top of all of that, we have Government legislating for more recycling and composting.

“The flaw in all of this is that the Government are rightly setting down greater regulations about how waste is dealt with, but they have formed no view as to who should be doing it.

“Households should benefit from these regulations, instead they are being failed as evidenced in by the threats of price hikes by waste management services.

“Today we hear reports that the new can and bottle recycling scheme is cutting into margins private operator margins. This means householders are now facing the possibility of yet another waste price increase.

“Another example of this dysfunction was exposed earlier this year, when laws to ensure that all households are provided with a brown bin took effect.

“Yet for the thousands of householders across the 900 streets in Dublin who have bags and not bins, they have been left with no such service.

“In May, Labour Senators received cross party support in the Seanad for our motion calling for significant changes to the waste collection system in Ireland.

“In order to see greater State investment into waste collection and recycling facilties, and to ensure greater control over price and the collection service for householders, we strongly believe that we need to move away from the current wild west system and instead see competition for the waste collection market across local authorities.

“Ultimately,  waste services should be remunicipalised. The latest threat from waste operators should be the wake up call to Government that change is needed.”

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