Council cuts bin collection to save on costs

WATERFORD County Council is changing its bin collection cycle from the start of next month in a crisis bid to save money.

The council, which is facing a €10 million bill for capping its two landfills in Dungarvan and Tramore, is changing the cycle from every two weeks to every three weeks in an effort to save €60,000.

Earlier this summer, it was anticipated that county manager Ray O’Dwyer would introduce a €40 flat fee to boost coffers as the council struggles to meet waste costs.

However, that fee was scrapped at the last minute.

The new system will begin with the collection of the ordinary bin on September 5, followed by the recycling bin the second week and organic bin the third, said director of services Denis McCarthy.

“We want to introduce new efficiencies and streamline the service as much as possible,” Mr McCarthy said.

“So far this year, our income from waste collection has not matched the anticipated amount. We are making these changes and hope to save €60,000 to €80,000 in the process,” he added.

He said the three-week cycle should suit most people, particularly over the next month when there are less grass cuttings and other waste for the brown, or organic, bin.

“From our experience, we have found that a three-week cycle should be enough to cover people’s needs. But if there are people who will have difficulties, we would ask them to contact us now,” he said.

At present, householders in Co Waterford pay €2.25 per recycling bag for materials such as paper and cans. They pay €7.50 per brown bin lift and €13.50 for the refuse or residual bin lift.

Up to now, the residual bin was collected one week, the two recycling bins the next week.

There has been intense pressure on the council not to increase refuse charges - even with the looming €10m cost of capping its two landfill sites.

Local councillors are vehemently opposed to any such hike.

At the most recent council meeting, Sinn Féin’s Brendan Mansfield said that even though the council was facing difficult times, householders should not be the ones to suffer.

Fine Gael’s Damien Geoghegan also opposed charge hikes, insisting the county manager put on the record that the proposed €40 flat fee for refuse collection was being scrapped until the estimates at the end of the year.

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