Consumers 'right to be angry' at charges put on recycling bins
Consumer anger over being forced to pay for the collection of recycling bins is justified, the Consumers' Association of Ireland (CAI) has said.
Greyhound Recycling has become the latest waste collection company to start charging householders to collect their green recycling bins.
The company's 140,000 household customers, most of whom are in Dublin, will now be charged 15c per kilogram to have their recyclable waste collected in a phased-in basis starting next week.
The move comes after Panda and its affiliate Greenstar introduced fees last month for householders to dispose of recyclable waste in their green bins, which were previously collected for free.
The City Bin Company also introduced a €1.90 monthly service charge effective from April 1, to counter what managing director Niall Killilea said was the quadrupling of costs to dispose of recycling waste, which he claimed the company can no longer absorb.
Rival Thornton's Recycling did not respond to queries on the issue from the Herald yesterday.
CAI executive director Dermott Jewell said that despite increased costs to the waste disposal industry, consumers are ultimately paying the price to dispose of items they never wanted in the first place.
"Consumers have been saying for years that they don't want more packaging, yet now they're paying to buy it and paying to dispose of it," he said.
"It seems to be forgotten that the consumer is absorbing prices at every step of the way and nobody is acknowledging that. Consumers have a right to be annoyed."
Dr Cara Augustenborg, head of communications for Friends of the Earth, said it agrees with the "polluter pays principle" and acknowledged waste collectors are facing higher costs.
However, she said consumers are being bombarded with needless packaging and products, such as bottled water for children to take to school, that are totally unnecessary and environmentally unsound.
Not only are micro-plastics now found in bottled water, they are an unnecessary product that consumers must pay to dispose of," Dr Augustenborg said.
"It's very unfortunate on the retailer end that they're foisting more packaging on consumers and consumers have no choice."