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Fingal to save €7m with sale of bin service

FINGAL County Council will stop collecting household bins by the end of the month and a new private operator will take over its service.

However, a waiver system operated by the council to help the elderly and those on social welfare will continue with the new provider for the next 12 months.

The local authority will cease operating its waste collection service on October 31 and Panda Waste Ltd will take over the collection of waste within Fingal, after the council agreed to sell its residential and commercial waste collection business.

The council's decision to sell the bin collection service comes following a consultant's report which found the service would make a minimum loss of €7m in 2012. It follows in the wake of Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown and South Dublin, who have already privatised their bin collections. Dublin City Council is also looking at privatising its service.

Fingal County Manager David O'Connor said the decision was made, following consultations with staff, and was due to the economic recession, escalating running costs and the erosion of the service as other operators entered the market within Fingal.



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Mr O'Connor told councillors that staff would not lose their jobs, but would be deployed in other roles in the council.

Cllr Tom Kelleher (Lab) said losing the council-run service was "a disastrous situation" for the people of Fingal, adding that he felt very sorry for those people who genuinely needed a waiver. Currently 14,400 households receive a waiver on the annual bin collection charge, which costs Fingal council €1.5m each year.

The waiver system will remain in place for the next year but is unlikely to be extended, though the council is looking at the question of waivers.

Cllr Ruth Coppinger (SP) said the cessation of the service was due to the Government's "ongoing policy of privatisation and austerity measures".

Mr O'Connor said the three- bin service will also cease, and only two bins -- the black bin for household waste and the green recycling bin -- will continue to be collected. The brown bin for food waste will no longer be collected.

hnews@herald.ie