On Monday 16th of January 140 years of history will come to an end when Dublin City Council will withdraw from waste collection in the city.
Cllr. Paul McAuliffe said: “The move comes following a decision by the City Manager to sell the service to Greyhound Recycling and hopes that the decision would be reversed were dashed when the Labour party (the largest party in the council) decided not to allocate funding for the continuation of the service in the 2012 city budget.
“The Council promise that there will be a seamless transfer with bins being collected on their usual days. Customers will also receive an explanation pack in the next few days explaining how the new service will work and how bills will be charged.
“Customer with a waiver will continue to have these for 2010, however no new waivers will be processed. Councillors will no longer vote on the waste charge instead it will be set by which ever private company you decide to use. Customers who do not switch to a new supplier will be transferred to Greyhound automatically. There will be no increase in charges until July 2012 when it is expected that greyhound will make some increase.
“I have been very critical of this decision for several reasons;
“I am not opposed to competition or to private companies supplying services to the City Council. However this proposal is not privatisation, it is the withdrawal of the council from any control or regulation of household waste collection. It is an abandonment of our responsibility ahead of major government decisions in this area.
“Competition can take two forms in waste. ‘Competition in the market’ where several different operators try to compete house by house for the waste we dispose. This can lead to bins being collected by different companies on different days in the same week on the same road and it also rules out any system to adopt a waiver scheme for people on low incomes.
“The other alternative and one which neither I nor the workers union are opposed to is ‘Competition for the market’. This is where the council retains control but tenders out large sections of the city to get the best price. The council waste service could also tender along with private companies. This system helps avoid a dominant private monopoly, allows the council to set terms of the tender including a waiver scheme and safeguards service standards. It would also avoid the nightmare scenario whereby a company goes bankrupt and the entire city has no collection service for several weeks.
“The new government intend to adopt this ‘competition for market ‘in this Dáil and therefore I cannot understand why the council did not wait for this legislation.
“The proposal is sure to lead to an increase in illegal dumping another cost which is not factored into the city budget. I am also concerned about a breach of data protection. This list of customers was created from different sources by a local authority and I don’t believe it is within their power to sell private information including waiver details to a commercial company so that they can supply a service in competition with private companies.
“The greyhound Call centre for City Council customers opens today 9th of January and can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org or 1890 929 333.”