Oxigen says waste was mixed by mistake


FOOTAGE SHOWING green and brown waste being mixed in the same bin truck on a Co Kildare collection route was simply a mistake by staff, waste company Oxigen has said.

Posted on YouTube, the footage was filmed last week near Naas and shows workers emptying household waste wheelie bins. Brown and green bins are being emptied into the back of the same truck. There are two flaps on the truck – one green and one brown – appearing to signify the truck has a split chamber. But staff emptying the bins seem to behave as though the cylinder is not split.

At first, a green bin containing plastics, papers, aluminium and cartons is emptied into the truck through the green flap, and a brown bin, containing organic kitchen and garden waste, is emptied through the brown flap. But farther down the road, the procedure is reversed, with green waste being emptied through the brown flap, and vice versa.

The footage also shows the side of the truck carrying a logo for Kildare County Council, though the company no longer has the contract for the local authority.

The household waste collection in Kildare was privatised in 2011. Bord na Móna’s waste company AES bought the rights to the collection service following a tendering process.

Yesterday a spokesman for Kildare County Council noted the truck in the video footage still carried the council logo. He said the council would contact Oxigen and request removal of the logo from all of its trucks.

He also said it was “not in the interest of any waste collection contractor to mix already segregated waste”.

Martin Harrell, spokesman for Oxigen Environmental Ltd, said the firm had introduced the dual chamber system in the last couple of months and there had been teething problems with implementation. “We did have some issues with members of staff who were not getting it right,” he said. He said it could take some time for staff, who may have been operating one system for years, to adjust to a new system.

He emphasised that all waste, once returned to the company’s recycling facilities, was segregated on site. Some 70 per cent of the waste currently being collected was recycled, Mr Harrell said.