Dublin households to be hit with delayed waste bills this week
16 April 2012
This week, 140,000 households across Dublin city will finally receive their waste bills for the last quarter of 2011. Technical problems matching the Greyhound and Council IT systems caused further delays after bills were initially deferred due to data protection issues.
The bills, which are now three months overdue, cover a period when the Council was still collecting rubbish. However the private operator Greyhound will be issuing the bills and collecting payments.
The Chairperson of Dublin City Council’s Communications Advisory Group Cllr Paul McAuliffe has called on the Assistant City Manager Seamus Lyons to outline full details of when the bills will be issued, how the payments will be collected and how Greyhound will ensure the money goes to the correct accounts.
“Every effort must be made to avoid a repeat of the communications breakdown we saw earlier this year in relation to Dublin bin collections,” said Cllr McAuliffe. “We need to ensure that all Councillors are fully briefed, that households know what’s going on, and that the bills are clear and easy to understand.
“Greyhound must ensure that their systems can deal with this collection so that the money goes to the right place. I am concerned that the money collected to pay off Council waste bills from last year will instead go straight into paying Greyhound waste bills.”
According to Cllr McAuliffe, as many as 8,000 accounts are actually in credit to the value of more than €850,000. In some cases a household have two accounts, a main account and an arrears account. Cllr McAuliffe says a credit on one of these accounts must be set off against a debt on the other. At the moment, refunds can only be issued if households request it in writing. Only about 10% of households entitled to a refund have made a request in writing.
Cllr McAuliffe said, “It’s wrong that people have to put in writing their request to have refunds made. I have asked the City Manager that this process be rectified and that automatic refunds are made to those accounts in credit. If the Council fails to do so, I believe they will be in breach of basic consumer protection procedures.”