A DUBLIN bin company has been reprimanded after it was found to be collecting household waste in the middle of the night.
Dublin City Council has confirmed that Thorntons Recycling had sent out bin crew to collect rubbish in the hours before 6am.
The city's bye-laws on waste collection state that bin firms are not permitted to collect waste between midnight and 6am.
This is due to concerns about noise and disruption when families are sleeping.
The Herald has learned that the bins company was reprimanded by the council after it investigated a complaint that it was operating before the permitted hours.
It's understood that more waste collectors are being contacted amid concerns that the bye-laws are being flouted.
In response to a question by Clontarf-based councillor Damian O'Farrell, the city council confirmed that it has been in touch with Thorntons over the matter.
The council said the early collection times were as a result of the busy period surrounding Christmas and New Year's.
"I have been in contact with the service provider, who has agreed to investigate and pull back time to 6am if necessary. The issue of very early collection at Christmas and New Year were exceptional circumstances and I have been informed such collection times are not the norm," according to council Litter Prevention Officer Bernie Lillis.
Cllr Damian O'Farrell, who has been contacted by residents over the matter, said it is not acceptable for firms to break the rules.
"We are talking about a situation where bins were being collected in the middle of the night, when people are sleeping. And I understand that it is not just Thorntons who were involved in this practice," he said.
"There are rules in place and they need to be followed. I am calling on Dublin City Council to contact all bin companies to warn them to play by the rules."
Thorntons did not respond to queries by the Herald over the matter.
Battle for Dublin bins: See pages 12 and 13