Greyhound using debt collector for money owed to citycouncil


A DEBT-collection company has begun writing to former Dublin City Council bin collection customers in the past week. The letters, sent by the private firm on behalf of Greyhound, relate to outstanding debts for the council’s residential waste collection services from the last quarter of 2011.

Greyhound was engaged by Dublin City Council to collect the arrears when it took over the council’s bin service last January.

The reminder letters from Cork-based Payaway Debt Management Solutions requests payment of overdue debts within 10 days of the correspondence. It writes that it has been authorised and instructed to collect outstanding money.

Dublin City Council yesterday said the bills were for “services rendered” in the fourth quarter of 2011.

A Greyhound spokesman said Payaway had been sending out “reminders” in the past week for the money owed to the council.

In April, Greyhound issued final household bin collection bills to some 140,000 former Dublin City Council customers. Some €6.7 million was owed to the council for collection of household rubbish when the council ended its bin collection service in January.

Greyhound said then it would not be taking a percentage of the debts but that a rate had been agreed with the council.

This year the Data Protection Commissioner investigated the transfer of customer data from the council to Greyhound and the collection of council debts by Greyhound. It found the core elements of the sale did not breach the Data Protection Act.

The commissioner, Greyhound and the council agreed that the debt-collection database of former council customers held by Greyhound or its agents would be “separate and distinct from all other aspects of Greyhound’s waste-collection business”. The council said that data transferred had been “in accordance with the Data Protection Commissioner”.