December 21, 2002
Waste collectors were “really lashing on the costs to householders,” charged Cllr John Moran at the County Council annual budget meeting on Friday.
Deputy John Moloney described the level of bin charges as “just not warranted,” and claimed they were being increased twice and even three times a year. Cllr Willie Aird: “Now we have a monopoly. This has to change.”
Acting Co Manager Louis Brennan, in a special report, calculated that the average household bill for refuse disposal was €131.25 a year or €2.52 a week. But, he noted, the waste collection company, AES, was charging €373 annually - a mark up of €241.75.
Refuse bags cost four euros in Portlaoise, compared to €2.60 in Thurles, he stated. This was despite the fact that the landfill charge, €105 a tonne, was the same in North Tipperary as in Laois.
Mr Brennan said a private company other than AES was able to collect waste in Rathdowney for €280 a year.
“Members are concerned that Laois County Council may appear to be encouraging a monopoly situation in Laois. This is not the case and it is open for other collectors to set up business and obtain a quota in Kyletalisha.”
He added: “I reiterate that this Council welcomes and encourages applications from reputable companies intending to actively offer a waste collection service in the county.”
Cllr Moran: “Those guys (waste collectors) are making huge profits at the moment.”
Deputy Sean Fleming: “The Council should see how we can help the process of competition in the market.”
Cllr Mary Sweeney wasn’t content with the standard of the waste collection service and she seriously questioned the Council’s commitment to recycling.
Cllr Martin Phelan: “The waste quota shold be like a game of rugby. Use or or lose it.”