Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD has described Environment, Community and Local Government Minister Phil Hogan’s attempts to wash his hands of the impending waste crisis in Dublin city as brazen.
The Dublin Central TD said:
“The transferring of household waste collection from Dublin City Council to Greyhound has been shambolic from start to finish. Many households in my constituency have yet to even receive information from Dublin City Council or indeed Greyhound about the transfer of services.
“Despite the Minister’s repeated efforts in the Dáil this evening to wash his hands of the situation, Greyhound’s decision not to collect from 18,000 homes is a real problem for the Minister’s Department.
“Illegal dumping across the city is already at unacceptable levels, so it is unimaginable what it will be like if Greyhound refuses to pick up the household waste of 18,000 homes across the city for an indefinite period. This will amount to a very serious public health issue.
“Non-payment is an issue that needs to be dealt with but if this Government continues to heap new taxation measures on low income households something has got to give. Statistics released today by the CSO illustrate the very real financial pressures low income families are experiencing as a result of this Government’s budgetary decisions.
“The Programme for Government commits to introduce a waste collection fee waiver scheme for low-income households where a private operator such as Greyhound takes over waste management services from a local authority.
“As far back as 2008 the Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly called on the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government to take a lead role in assisting and supporting local authorities in reviewing the administrative inconsistencies and anomalies that exist in waiver schemes throughout the country.
“The Ombudsman also recommended that local authorities put in place waste waiver schemes that cater for hardship cases in a fair, equitable and consistent manner. It’s time for Phil Hogan to step up to his Ministerial responsibilities and Programme for Government commitments.”