18,000 face bin chaos over unpaid fees
FAMILIES were today warned that Greyhound will be showing no mercy to households who fail to pay their fees by Thursday.
As a result, the bins fiasco is set to descend into utter chaos as thousands of homes will be without collection within days.
Customers have just two days to pay the €100 annual charge or to make an initial payment of €50 by signing up as automatic top-up customers.
Greyhound today insisted it will not collect bins unless a payment has been made and accounts are in credit to cover each bin collection.
Despite the fact that the vast majority of customers have signed up to the new service, the company said that thousands of individuals had not yet agreed to the contract.
The move has raised fears of illegal dumping and a build-up of uncollected rubbish in housing estates and on streets.
Michael Buckley, joint founder and CEO of Greyhound Recycling and Recovery said that there would be no exceptions to the rule but the the company had urged householders to contact them to make arrangements.
"We welcome the fact that the vast majority of households in Dublin city are now registered as Greyhound customers and we remind those who intend to sign up as customers to do so before Thursday," he said.
"We have a simple system for identifying which households have paid for the service and those who have not will not have their bins collected. There will be no exceptions to that policy.
"We understand that householders are financially constrained. We are honouring waivers for 33,000 customers for 2012 and all other customers have the option of paying the €100 annual service in two instalments by signing up as automatic top-up customers," Mr Buckley added.
City councillor Cieran Perry said that it was "an absolute mess" but councillors had been expecting the move by Greyhound. "They made it crystal clear that they would not keep collecting indefinitely from people who were not paying," he said.
He added that it was obvious there would not be too long of a grace period.
"The big problem for us is that, if there is an increase in dumping, we (the council) take the financial hit on that," Mr Perry said.
"I feel that will be a big problem. We'll be subsidising the private waste service," the central area councillor added.
Mr Perry, who was involved in the anti-bin tax campaigns of recent years, said he would find it difficult to advise anyone to sign up and pay the fee. He pointed out rubbish can be left at council recycling centres though householders will need a car to deliver the bags.
"It's an absolute mess. The changeover has been badly managed by Dublin City Council and Greyhound," said Perry.
Fine Gael councillor Ruairi McGinley said he estimates around 33,000 former local authority customers have not signed up to Greyhound.
Many of them will have made other arrangements, either by signing up to a different private waste operator or sharing bins with another householder, he told the Herald.
"I'd encourage people to make the appropriate arrangements," Mr McGinley said.
He said he wasn't surprised by Greyhound's announcement.
"There is a difference between the private and public services. (Private operators) are going to insist on being paid, while the council was too tolerant (of those who refused to pay)".