herald

Tuesday 26 September 2017

Bruton wades into row over sell-off of city bins

CONCERN: Minister says families can opt for alternative collection

JOBS Minister Richard Bruton has waded into the controversy over the privatisation of the bin collection service in Dublin city.

In a news bulletin delivered to local constituents, he said: "The sale of the bin collection franchise to Greyhound by the city manager has generated a lot of concern."

However, he added: "The contract does not prevent other services coming in to provide an alternative collection to residents."

A spokesperson for Dublin City Council told the Herald: "The council sold the bin collection franchise to Greyhound. There is absolutely no obligation on any of our previous customers to use Greyhound, they can chose any waste collection company they wish to."

Earlier this week, the council claimed that it would have been forced to double bin charges if it had not privatised its waste service. A special meeting of the local authority was held to discuss the privatisation of bin collections following a series of complaints by residents.

Greyhound took over on January 16. Many of the complaints related to delayed notice being given to householders who were unaware of the changeover and as a result had put out their refuse on the wrong day. Greyhound has denied it missed any collections.

City manager John Tierney apologised for the confusion caused by the late posting of notices. But he defended the move, saying that they would have had to find €50m over six years to continue bin collections.

Meanwhile, Deputy Bruton said in his bulletin that the installation of water meters in households in the coming two years will create 2,000 jobs in the process.

"A new state utility is to be established to deliver water efficiently," he said.

The Minister said that in the future all households will be charged for usage over a certain free allocation.

Meanwhile, he said in relation to disadvantaged schools, "the Government have received proposals affecting some disadvantaged schools as a result of genuine concerns raised by parents and teachers.

"The impact on each school affected will be examined in the coming weeks and modifications will be made to protect against the feared impact."

fdillon@herald.ie

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