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To: Minister for the Environment, Denis Naughten
End The Bin Charge Rip Off
We are calling for an immediate freeze in bin charges, followed by the reintroduction of a free, public waste collection service.
Why is this important?
Pay-by-weight bin charges are being introduced across Dublin, and will become mandatory in September. Since the bins were privatised, we’ve had waivers for those on low incomes removed, fees hiked up, and service quality deteriorate.
Pay-by-weight will lead to even higher charges for all of us.
Pay-by-weight has nothing to do with protecting the environment. The biggest ‘polluters’ are not us, ordinary households, but the mega-companies that profit off selling products with far too much packaging. In fact, Irish households are good recyclers already. We have the second lowest household waste generation in the EU-15. Between 2008 and 2014, household waste generation fell by 12%, while across the EU it fell by only 6%.
Nothing except a publicly-owned waste collection service will work. With public control, decisions regarding pick-ups, recycling and charges become democratically accountable. Without this, we will always be chasing rogue employers with poor working conditions - even with a regulator.
The cost to the state of providing a decent bin public service would be in the region of €375 million. This is more than affordable. But in fact, it doesn't have to cost us that. Waste management is a profitable industry. The state could take over the profitable recycling activities that, currently, private companies make an awful lot of money from. In countries like Sweden, this already happens.
Like with the water charges, we need to make it clear to our government that we want decent public services, paid for through fair taxation – not outrageous charges to private companies.