Time for Minister Coveney to deal with outstanding issues from the bin charge price freeze – Ellis
Sinn Féin TD Dessie Ellis has said that it is time for the Minister to act against errant practises in bin companies since the price freeze last month.
The Dublin North West TD said:
“The insistence by Greyhound waste collection company on customers having to front load their credit by the 1st of August is another way to force people into the pay-by-weight scheme. This goes against the spirt of the agreement with the Minister. It’s now time for a legislative response to bring errant companies into line or the majority of financially pressured people will be in a position that they are unable to afford a bin service.
“I said that the announcement last month from the Minister and the Irish Waste Management Association does not go far enough with a price freeze for a year and now we have some companies trying to introduce the previous price structure through the back door. By crediting customers again on August 1stGreyhound are not charging extra but the result of this is that customers will have to pay twice for yearly contract. If you paid in January under this situation you have to find another yearly fee seven months into the year. More importantly it places a burden on those who can’t afford to pay.
“With no option for instalments or no bin waiver, many people including pensioners who have budgeted and paid their waste charges for the year last January now have to find another sum of money to stay on their existing plan. The failure to do this will result in the customer being put on the pay-by-weight, which is considerably more expensive. As the Minister said in his answer to me, this approach is out of step with other collectors and therefore out of step with the spirt of the agreement entered into with the Minister himself.”
In a reply to a PQ by Dessie Ellis; Minister Coveney said that he “actively engaged with representatives of the waste industry to agree a way forward that results in customers paying no more than they are currently paying for waste over the next 12 months….the company in question has contacted all of its customers and requested customers to indicate by phone, email, through using a form on their website or using a return form by post, as to whether they wish to retain their current price plan arrangements. While I have signalled that this approach is out of step with the arrangements made by other collectors in the industry, I am informed that a large number of customers have already been in contact with the company to indicate that they wish to retain their current price plan arrangements. In terms of fees, my understanding is that the company in question is crediting customer accounts for fees pre - paid for the period after 1 July 2016, while at the same time requesting customers to enter a new annual contract from 1 August 2016.”