Dysfunctional waste collection needs fundamental reform - Brian Stanley TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson on the Environment, Brian Stanley TD has said that waste collection in this State, with its ‘unique’ side by side competition model of collection, is not working.
Last night’s RTE Investigates programme highlighted the need for urgent change and the disastrous consequences of privatisation.
Deputy Stanley said:
“I asked the Minister last month to move to a different model for waste collection in the State. Separately at an Oireachtas Committee meeting also last month I asked Department officials to look at alternatives.
“Both the Minister and Officials referenced a study being conducted by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) on the market.
"But changes need to be urgently made to the whole structure of this market because householders are suffering from lack of regulation and the environment is also suffering because of how some companies are dealing with waste.
“Householders are going to the effort of segregating waste, paying substantial fees for collection, then pass it is to some waste collectors to be dumped illegally.
"It makes a farce of environmental protection. I put forward a bill last year to increase the penalty for illegal dumping. The fact that the fines issued are so derisory is another issue.
“Our side-by-side competition for waste collection is unique compared to the rest of Europe. This is where several collectors compete in the same area.
"Poland abandoned this form of collection in 2012 moving to State ownership, and Finland switched in 2010. We need now to seriously change our whole market structure with greater local authority control and direct control on standards and prices.
"We need to address how the market is regulated and how we enforce environmental laws because the environmental damage is unsustainable.”