Waste collection regulator must be put in place

A WASTE collection regulator must be put in place before the government implements any change to the legislation concerning waste and bin collections across the country.

Deputy Michael Collins, speaking in the Dáil this week, has called for the immediate creation of a waste collection regulatory body to ensure that rural families are not subjected to yet more price gouging.

‘In very rural areas like my own constituency of Cork South-West, there is only one waste provider,’ Deputy Collins said. The government’s proposal will allow providers to set up their own prices, and that will allow those same providers to exploit their market. The waste collection providers will have a monopoly in these areas. Competition does not exist in rural Cork, as in many places in rural Ireland, so the proposed pricing mechanism will not work.’

‘It is important that we have greater regulation of the waste collection industry,’ Deputy Collins continued. This regulation would go some way to halting the rising level of illegal dumping, which has become a blight on our beautiful countryside. However, the Department must clearly set out what support young families and carers for the elderly and sick will get to cover this very expensive pay-by-weight proposal, one that seems to hit those who are already struggling once again.’

Deputy Collins also took issue with the reduced services at local authority dump sites across the country.

‘In West Cork I have been in contact with the people involved in the Tidy Towns and community councils in the greater Schull and Castletownbere area, where these major cuts took place at local authority dump sites,’ Deputy Collins said.  In the past few years these groups have collected 2,700 bags of rubbish on the roadside and 500 bags of rubbish on the beaches. We need to find ways to incentivise people to recycle and get rid of their waste in an efficient way. I am not wholly sure that these proposals by the government  are the best way to achieve the results so urgently need in rural Ireland.’