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Morgan -Something rotten about waste management

15 October, 2003

Sinn Féin spokesperson on the Environment and Local Government Arthur Morgan T.D. this morning hit out angrily at lack of accountability with regard to waste management. Deputy Morgan was speaking following the disallowing of a question which he had tabled to the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government Martin Cullen T.D. Deputy Morgan said:

"I enquired from the Minister for the Environment how many of the local authorities in the 26 counties had privatised their refuse collection, to outline the amounts which are being charged by private refuse collection companies in each case and to state if these private companies provide waivers for pensioners, the unemployed or those on low incomes.

"This question was disallowed on the basis that the Minister has no responsibility to the Dáil for this matter.

"This is absolute madness. Nobody is accountable. The Minister has washed his hands of waste management altogether and is happy to leave it in the hands of the unelected city and county managers who are accountable to nobody. When the Minister for the Environment cannot even tell the Dáil which local authorities have privatised their waste collection services there is something seriously wrong.

"It is this unaccountable incompetence in relation to waste management that is at the very root of the current waste management crisis and escalation in protests over bin charges which people rightly see as being a stepping stone to privatisation." ENDS

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