Council to privatise collection of city bins


MORE THAN €60 million will be saved over the next five years through the privatisation of Dublin city’s household bin collection service, Dublin City Council has said.

The council has received a number of bids from private waste collectors to operate the service and plans to sign a contract with the successful bidder this week.

The service was to have been handed over to the private sector from next Monday, but private collections will not now begin until January 16th.

Dublin’s bins collection has been a publicly operated service for almost 150 years. However, the city council is now the only local authority in the greater Dublin region not to have privatised waste collection. Assistant city manager Séamus Lyons has said the service was no longer viable and the council must outsource it.

The council has been losing about €10 million a year on its household waste collection service, largely due to the provision of waivers to more than 40,000 low-income households.

The losses have been increasing steadily as the number of households entitled to a waiver has grown, while the number of full-paying customers defecting to private collectors has also risen.

Mr Lyons said last May the council entered into discussions with the unions representing bin collectors, Siptu and Impact, in relation to these issues.

The unions requested that an independent report on the service be commissioned and that Ampersand consultants be appointed. The council engaged Ampersand and a report was issued to all parties last August.

“The outcome of this report makes clear the fact that it is not possible to make the service viable either within the city council or as a social enterprise operation,” Mr Lyons said.

City councillors have urged the council to reverse its decision or wait for new waste legislation next year. However, Mr Lyons said January 16th was a “set date and will not be changed”.

He said the council had made it a condition of the contract that the waiver system would remain in place for 12 months.