Bin collectors reject predictions of a penalties bonanza

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown bin collection charges are less than 11 years ago, says Panda

John Dunne, domestic director of Panda Waste. The firm said it would impose penalties only as a last resort. Photograph: Peter Murtagh

John Dunne, domestic director of Panda Waste. The firm said it would impose penalties only as a last resort. Photograph: Peter Murtagh

 

Bin collectors have rejected suspicions they are gearing up for a potential bonanza from fines after it emerged that householders could be penalised for putting contaminated waste out for collection.

Earlier this week concern was raised that new contracts offered by Panda Waste contained provision for €25 fines for contaminated bins.

It subsequently emerged that many other bin collection companies already have provision for such fines – in a number of cases up to €30 per incident – written into customer contracts.

In statement on Friday, Panda Waste, which operates mainly in Dublin and Leinster, said it would “not impose any penalties on any customer without engagement and several opportunities for the customer to mend their ways”.

Last year an attempt by the Government to introduce mandatory pay-by-weight was dropped after householders complained bills for the service could potentially double.

Since the Government announced in June that it would try again to end flat-rate bin charges, fears were again expressed that price rises would be the likely result.

Competitive edge

Panda said it had entered the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown household refuse market in 2006 and immediately cut what had been council charges by 20 per cent. The company said it had introduced and expanded green bin service, and while “some prices have increased because of landfill levies”, charges were “less today than they were 11 years ago”.

In a statement the City Bin Company, which has operations in Dublin and Galway, said almost 80 per cent of its customers would “not be impacted at all” by the new pay-by-use legislation.

However, it cautioned that “if an average customer makes no change to their waste and recycling habits, they could see an increase of around 7 per cent”.

On Friday, Minister for Environment Denis Naughton said Barna Waste in Galway and AES in the midlands had told him competition in the market would keep prices down. Mr Naughten said he believed companies in the Leinster area would be even more aware of the need to remain competitive.