Greyhound says up to 10% of bin tags counterfeit
Sale of fake tags costing waste firm more than €100,000 annually
There had been a problem with fake tags being sold in the street or door-to-door, but increasingly counterfeit tags are being sold in shops, Greyhound chief executive Michael Buckley said. Photograph: Frank Miller
Up to 10 per cent of bin tags sold in Dublin shops are fake, according to waste firm Greyhound.
The company, which is the largest provider of domestic waste-collection services in the State, said it was losing more than €100,000 a year due to the sale of counterfeit tags.
About 15,000 of Greyhound’s Dublin customers use bags for their household waste and must attach a label bought from authorised shops or post offices to each bag they present for collection. The tags cost €3.65 each or €10.95 for a pack of three.
There had been a problem with fake tags being sold in the street or door-to-door, but increasingly counterfeit tags are being sold in shops, Greyhound chief executive Michael Buckley said.
“I’d compare it with the problem of illegal cigarettes, they were all being sold on the streets, but now they’ve moved into shops. Gardaí are finding that the same places selling illegal cigarettes are selling the forged tags.”
“Some of these tags are badly produced photocopies and are clearly fake, but some are so good our own people don’t realise they’re fake when they’re collecting the bags.”
The giveaway that a tag is fake is the reflective silver strip which, on a real tag, can be scraped off, as with a scratchcard. These are difficult to reproduce and will usually just be coloured in with silver pen on a fake.
Greyhound estimates between 5 and 10 per cent of tags are fakes. “The scale of the fake tag problem is costing us in excess of €100,000 a year.”
New Dublin City Council bylaws that come into force next January should help tackle the problem, Mr Buckley said. Householders will have to sign up to a waste-collection service and must be able to prove they have done so. In addition, the company is phasing out tags and moving to bags which Mr Buckley said will harder to forge.
The use of fake tags also adds to the problem of illegal dumping, according to Dublin City Council. “If tags are clearly forgeries, they get left behind by the waste collectors,” said Hugh Coughlan of the council’s environment department. “In the first six months of the year, we collected more than 100,000 dumped bags and over the course of a full year that’s costing us in the region of €500,000.”