Council tenants face higher rents over unpaid bin charges

Tue, Jan 3, 2012, 00:00

SOME OF Dublin City Council’s poorest tenants are facing an increase in their weekly rent from this week because of their failure to pay waste collection charges.

The council is to increase rent for tenants of its flat complexes, senior citizen housing and Traveller accommodation by €1.50 a week to make up the shortfall associated with non-payment of bin charges.

A waste collection charge of €1 per week was levied on households living in the council’s flats for the first time in 2011. Council house tenants had been subject to “per lift” charges every time they presented their bins for collection since 2010.

However, in a report to councillors, the council said the record of payment of the €1 charge had been “extremely poor”. While the council has not been specific about the amount of money taken in through the new charge, it is understood it was negligible over the course of the year.

“A culture of non-payment of this charge has developed and it has created an inequality with tenants who live in our houses – who must pay for their waste management service.”

The city’s bin collection service is to be privatised from January 16th next with Greyhound Recycling and Recovery taking over from the council. As part of the change, the €1.50 additional rent will be classed as a “service charge”.

The increase reflects only the costs of the waste collection service and “essentially waives the relevant service charge”, the council said.

Currently, households pay a standing charge for the large grey general waste bin of €100 per year, while those using the smaller bin pay €80 per year. An additional “per lift” charge of €6 for the large grey bin, €3.60 for the small bin, €3 for those using bags and €2 for the brown organic waste bin is also levied.

Households in receipt of a waiver have had to pay per lift charges since 2010, but do not have to pay the annual standing charge. Greyhound has said it will maintain the waiver scheme for 2012, but has made no commitment to waive fees for poorer families from 2013.

The company has also signalled an increase in the per lift charge. The current charges will remain in place for the first six months, but it said it may then increase the charge to offset the next rise to the Government’s landfill levy which is due to take effect next July.

Meanwhile, the council, which continues to operate black and brown bin collections for the next two weeks, said normal operations will continue throughout the period.

There are some variations in the green bin collection schedule and details are available on green Any householder whose green bin is full may place additional dry recyclable material – such as cardboard, paper and plastic – alongside their green bin for collection up until Friday, January 13th.

This material must be presented in a safe, neat and secure manner, the council said.