Dáil Motion calls for freeze to bin charge. Solidarity/PBP motion calls for waste services to be taken back into public control and ownership
Brid Smith TD will tonight introduce into the Dail an amendment to a Fianna Fail motion that seeks to re-municipalise domestic waste collection and would extend the current price freeze for bin charges.
Deputy Smith denounced the planned changes saying: “This has nothing to do with polluter pays principal or cutting waste going to landfills, it’s a straightforward hike in prices to boost private waste company’s revenues that is being dressed up as some environmentally necessary tactic.”
Noting that Dublin City Council last night passed a People Before Profit resolution calling for domestic waste to be brought back under the council’s control, Deputy Smith said that the crisis in waste management had become a disaster since the services here privatised:
“Not only is this a crisis for the environment but it’s a crisis for consumers and workers in the industry; wages and conditions have been hammered, waivers for people on low incomes have disappeared and it is more difficult to sustainably manage our waste; we have entrusted a vital service to private for profit companies who have set up off shore entities to hide their accounts and have poor records in dealing with workers and waste; we need to see this industry back under public ownership for all our sakes”.
The People Before Profit TD dismissed the Fianna Fail demand for a regulator saying; “A regulator will not lower the charges for consumers, we have regulators in other sectors that have proven ineffectual. The mess we have is caused by the privatisation of waste collection, a policy that was created by Fianna Fail. The problem is the market and the drive for profits by these companies, a regulator won’t challenge that”
Solidarity TD, Mick Barry, said that that the industry is dominated by a cartel of ruthless profiteers and in that context the Government decision will result in price hikes.
He claimed “Households affected by long term illness and larger households will be particularly hard hit by the decision and pointed to the fact that compensation for such households is promised before the year's end but the end of the price freeze kicks in next week.
“People living in apartments, in villages and in rural areas will not get brown bins under the new scheme and will be adversely affected too as a result.
“The Government decision is good news for the bin company profiteers and bad news for ordinary households. It should be reversed.
"Society has paid a high price for privatisation in the form of an epidemic of dumping and associated cleanup costs for local authorities. A reversal of that decision and the scrapping of charges could actually save money for society in the medium term”.