Greyhound contract to collect bins at flats ends

Wed, Jul 18, 2012, 01:00

DUBLIN CITY Council is ending its contract with waste company Greyhound to collect bins from the residents of more than 11,500 flats in the city.

Greyhound last January began collecting bins from about 140,000 Dublin households whose waste collection was formerly provided by the city council.

The council last year decided to rid itself of the waste-collection service which was losing about €10 million a year. Assistant city manager Séamus Lyons had promised a “seamless” transfer of services to the private company.

However, both Greyhound and the council were inundated with complaints from residents in relation to missed collections and rubbish piled up on the streets in some parts of the city. In March, Greyhound said these problems had been resolved.

The company has been collecting bins from houses and flats, regardless of whether they were privately owned or council properties. However, the council is now seeking tenders for companies to collect waste from its 212 complexes of 11,543 flats.

Council houses and private flats/ apartments and houses which are customers of Greyhound will continue to be serviced by the company. The waste firm which will be awarded the new tender will be appointed for a probationary six- month period, but could hold the contract for up to four years.

The council said Greyhound had only been contracted to collect bins from its flats on a temporary basis. Council flat tenants used communal bins, so it was not possible for individual council tenants to have a direct customer/supplier relationship with the bin collection company or to have individualised bills, the council said.

“It was not possible, therefore, to include the bin collection from flat complexes in the council’s initial agreement with Greyhound,” the council said.

Greyhound confirmed yesterday that it intended to tender for the new council flats contract. Questions in relation to why its contract to collect bins from the flats was not being continued were a matter for the council, it said.

Unlike residents of houses, who pay each time their bin is collected, council flat tenants pay a flat fee of €1.50 a week, regardless of how much rubbish they leave out for collection – or whether they produce any at all.

Under the new contract, the council will continue to determine each year how much the tenants are charged for waste collection. Earlier this month, Greyhound increased its collection charges to households, including tenants of council houses, from €6 to €7 for a 240-litre bin in response to an increase in landfill levies from €50 to €65 a tonne.

The waiver scheme that exempts most council house tenants from paying an annual standing charge of €100 will be discontinued at the end of this year, Greyhound has said.

Since the start of the year, the €1.50 waste collection charge has been added on to the council tenants’ weekly rent. Previously, the council had charged flat tenants separately for waste collection at a rate of €1 a week, but due to “extremely poor” collection rates, it decided to link waste payments to rent payments.