Fears illegal dumping will spiral in Longford over bin charges row

Liam Cosgrove

Reporter:

Liam Cosgrove

Email:

liam.cosgrove@longfordleader.ie

Fears illegal dumping will spiral in Longford over bin charges row

Rural counties like Longford could be beset by a huge upswing in illegal dumping if proposed new charges come into effect.

Under the new rules, households are expected to pay by weight or lift, replacing flat rate charges.
The pay-by-weight arrangements announced by Minister for Communications and Environment Denis Naughten has sparked controversy amid fears the new regime will lead to widespread charge hikes.
The row took somewhat of a more even-tempered feel last week when the Government agreed to initiate a waste collection pricing watchdog.
Despite the political rowback brought about by a Fianna Fáil private members motion, there are fears the new changes will spark a fly-tipping epidemic.
“It’s a regressive step,” said a rueful sounding Cllr Mark Casey.
The Independent representative said the controversy had re-opened the debate on the privatisation of waste collection.
“When it was under the control of the Council it was run far more efficiently and we certainly didn’t have the level of dumping we do now.
“It’s like everything else they (government) have taken away from us, the water, sewage, they have all been an unmitigated disaster.”
One of the reasons for the apparent climbdown has been linked to concerns about how the furore could mirror the protests which forced a government u-turn on water charges.
Cllr Casey said unless swift and decisive action was taken to empower local authorities, the number of fly tipping cases coming before the courts would only rise.
“This is a Fine Gael driven initiative,” he stressed, while downplaying the part played by the Independent Alliance and local TD Kevin Boxer Moran in the crisis.
“They (Fine Gael) say regulation is anti-competitive, but the simple fact is you have to regulate big business because all they will do is milk the small guy.
“If people have to choose between putting food on their table and paying for bins I think I know what they will do.”