Tuesday, December 22, 2009

City Council plays Scrooge

Twas the week before Christmas and all throughout the city, those on lower incomes were exempt from paying for waste collection. But the nasty grinches up in the Council Chamber were about to put an end to that. Ok I think that's about all I can do in that style so plain English from here.

Last night, Dublin City Council voted to remove the waiver for waste collection or at least that's how certain parts of the media (right) and protest voters (left) would like it to be reported. The elites in their ivory tower stealing yet more from the poorest in society is a good headline and a good rallying call for political support. However, it appears that the truth is somewhat less exciting as what was actually passed is as follows
  • Retention of the waiver for the standing charge
  • A number of free bin collections for households with a waiver
  • Payment for collections in excess of this free number
Doesn't seem so draconian now does it? According to research, households with the waiver were generating almost twice as much waste as compared to those that had to pay. Under the new regime there will be an incentive for those on the waiver to reduce their waste levels to save money.

In my house, we put out the brown bin once per month and the black bin maybe every 2 months. The frequency goes up in the summer to avoid smells but that comes to about €50 per annum, ignoring the standing charge. Now to my mind that seems like a fairly reasonable sum to pay to get rid of your rubbish even if you are pensioned, unemployed or on a low income.

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