“We have noticed that your bins tend to be extremely heavy. To be honest, disposing of your waste is costing more than your current charges.”
I received this email from my private bin collection company in 2014, and my annual charges were increased from a bargain €99 to €275 overnight. I’m expecting more of the same with the new pay by weight system announced yesterday by the Irish Government.
My bin is heavy because it is full of used adult nappies. Which are very heavy. But what options do families like mine have?
Apparently people with lifelong/long-term medical incontinence issues like my disabled daughter will get a €75 annual waiver. Anyone betting that will cover the likely increase in charges? No me, neither.
The Irish government keeps claiming that core social welfare payments were not touched during the austerity years, what they fail to mention is that many non core payments were cut. And many new charges were imposed. Including bin collection charges for many families for whom the service was previously free.
Of course there was no corresponding tax reduction or social welfare increase to reflect the savings made from outsourcing to private companies.
The result is that many people are struggling, and the imposition of pay by weight bin charges will just make things worse.
In my part of Dublin we have three bins for ordinary rubbish, food waste and clean recycling. There are strict rules about what can go in each, that few people seem to know about or follow. At the same time, some people are dumping more and more of their waste wherever they can.
There’s no incentives to recycle, it’s all about profit and punishment.
I used to be in favour of it, but now the whole thing feels like a con, with recycling being rejected due to contamination, and all the carefully sorted bottles being thrown in together by the collection truck.
It all smacks of a State that enjoys exerting control over its citizens, and not about saving the environment at all.
Because if it was about saving the environment, surely families like mine would be helped to source and use adult cloth nappies?
Disclosure: I am lucky, I will find a way to absorb or reduce these costs, but not everyone will be able to, and I wrote this after hearing a sneering radio presenter this morning predicting that the poor would be bleating on about their inability to pay. Something like that anyway. Also I am very happy with the service from my current bin collection company – just concerned about future price rises.