City Bin, Greyhound and Panda fine for waste contamination

National regulations stipulate households have responsibility for waste segregation

The waste industry claims that  as much as 40 per cent of ‘green-bin’ recyclables collected free are contaminated with ‘black-bin’ waste such as nappies. Photograph: Alan Betson

The waste industry claims that as much as 40 per cent of ‘green-bin’ recyclables collected free are contaminated with ‘black-bin’ waste such as nappies. Photograph: Alan Betson

 

Many of the State’s largest bin-collectors including Greyhound, Panda Waste and The City Bin Co already have contamination charges of up to €30, an examination of operators’ terms and conditions has revealed.

On Wednesday it was revealed that Panda Waste will next week introduce amended conditions which allow it to impose €25 fines on householders who contaminate “green-bin” recyclables with “black-bin” waste. Panda has 150,000 household customers.

The City Bin Co, which operates in Galway and Dublin, already has provision to charge a €30 fine on those who contaminate green bins “per incident”. However sources said it had never yet applied the contamination charge.

The charge is in addition to collection charges. If the contract is terminated within 12 months, a surcharge of €15 per bin applies. The surcharge relates to the cost to the company for the collection and cleaning of the bins. The City Bin Co advises its 30,000 customers it will not take waste from B&Bs which seek to operate under a household account.

Greyhound Recycling, which has 120,000 customers in Dublin, also includes provision for a €30 “service” in relation to the contamination of its green-bin recyclables with black-bin waste.

Thorntons Recycling does not specify a monetary penalty but warns its customers it will decline to collect contaminated bins and serial offenders will be refused service. The Thorntons recycling website says the company has 60,000 domestic and commercial customers.

Many waste-collection companies’ terms and conditions appear to be a template copy of sample terms attached to the Waste Management (Collection Permit) (Amendment) Regulations 2015.

The regulations make it clear that it is the householders’ responsibility to properly segregate their waste.

While the regulations provide a list of recyclables which waste-collectors are required to take in the green bins, the regulations do not provide similar lists for brown-bin, compostable waste or black-bin, residual waste. The regulations do however provide that waste-collection companies offer “education” on what is accepted in their bins.

The charges are in place as the waste industry claims that as much as 40 per cent of “green-bin” recyclables collected free are contaminated with “black-bin” waste such as nappies.

None of the companies mentioned responded to questions yesterday but an industry source said contamination of recyclables was an “horrendous” problem. The source said nappies and other inappropriate waste which should go into a black bin were frequently secreted inside bundles of papers in green bins.

The source said such nappies or pet faeces entering the recycling stream could result in contamination of 1,000 tonne bundles of paper. He said last year a number of shipments of paper sent to China were intercepted in Holland and found to be contaminated. The entire shipments were then returned to Ireland with costs in terms of shipping and lost revenue or landfill charges, and taxes were “probably in excess of €1 million” on that occasion, the source said.

A spokesman for the Irish Waste Management Association said it would not be making any comment this week.