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McDonald welcomes Minister Cullen to the Real World

22 March, 2004


Sinn Féin candidate for the European Elections in Dublin Mary Lou McDonald has welcomed Minister Martin Cullen to the 'real world' following his decision to introduce a 'pay-by-use' scheme for waste collection. However while welcoming the announcement as a vindication of one of the key arguments against the Bin Charges, Ms McDonald pointed out that "the Bin Charges remain an unfair way of paying for waste collection. Charges like these have crippled working class households across Dublin as they have increased year after year." Sinn Féin has played a key role in opposing the Bin Charges in Dublin over the last number of years with party members imprisoned for their part in the protests.

Ms McDonald said: "One of the problems we had with the Bin Charges from the start was the ham-fisted fashion in which the Government introduced them, with different systems existing in different areas. The flat rate currently existing in many parts of the country, including Dublin, does nothing to encourage recycling. It vindicates one of the arguments those of us opposed to the Charges have been putting forward from day one and I welcome Minister Cullen to the real world.

"But while welcoming the fact that the pay-by-use scheme will now be used across the state, the Bin Charges remain an unfair way of paying for waste collection. Charges like these have crippled working class households across Dublin as they have increased year after year and the recycling infrastructure in place is wholly insufficient.

"The notion that the charges are true to the principle of Polluter Pays is another lie from this Government. Who are the polluters? The people who put out a bag of rubbish a week, most of which is unnecessary packaging from manufacturers? People who provide less than two million tonnes of waste a year? Or is it the well over 70 million tonnes produced by industry, large-scale agriculture and big business.

"If the Government is serious about recycling and protecting the environment, it can begin by providing proper recycling facilities, instead of standing idly by while the IGB glass recycling facility, the only one in the state, was shut down. It can turn away from incineration and City Council's proposals to build a massive incinerator in Ringsend and adopt a progressive waste management strategy as outlined in Sinn Féin's Waste Management Charter." ENDS

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