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Over eighty blockade Grangegorman bin-truck depot

category national | bin tax / household tax / water tax | news report author Friday October 03, 2003 01:58author by Ronan Stensonauthor email ronanstenson at hotmail dot com Report this post to the editors

From about 5pm thursday evening a blockade was placed on the Council waste depot at Grangegorman on the north side of Dublin. This was to disrupt the evening rubbish collection in the city centre. More than eighty people took part.

I came down the Grangegorman Road about 4.30 this evening. As I passed the depot all was quiet so I went a further couple of hundred yards until I met between seven and ten people waiting at the corner of a side street. I only recognised a couple of them. A couple more seemed to be members of the media, one of them had a video camera. Someone else had a sack with some placards.

We waited there until close to 5pm, then began to make our way up toward the depot. As we arrived more people were also arriving, some in small groups and others on their own. Some of the people were from nearby houses. We began to walk around in a circle in front of the depot gate. The placards had words to the effect "How to defeat this tax" and had sp

ace on them for people to add their own slogans. On some placards people had added "Don't pay" or "We won't pay".

A bin truck was driven out of one of the buildings into the main passage leading toward the gate. The driver drove at a steady pace and stopped abruptly just inside the gate as he could go no further without endangering us. Shortly afterwards he reversed the truck and one of the supervisory staff then drove a small van in front of the truck and drove out the gate. He made as to drive through the crowd, with the truck just behind him but the people refused to give way, so he gave up, reversed back a few feet, and shortly afterward got out.

We continued the blockade, walking around in a large circle. Two gardai eventually arrived in a patrol car. they had a discussion with a council official who then attempted to address the protest. His voice was drowned out by the protestors shouting loudly that "We won't pay" and "All bins or no bins".

All this time the blockade was increasing in size. I stood aside and counted the number of people on the blockade, it quickly increased from about 47 on my first count up through 55, then 64. More people were arriving, some of them had come there straight from work, some were local people. I made several more counts over the next one and a half hours, as the blockade increased up through seventy and toward eighty. At times some of the people stopped to rest or chat or take photos, but most of the time there were between seventy and eighty actually walking around chanting and displaying placards.
I was wondering when garda reinforcements might arrive, and if they would try to move the protestors, but all that happened was that another garda came walking down the hill to the depot. So there were eighty plus on the blockade, and three gardai standing near the gate. No attempt was even made to take names. The whole affair was very low key and good natured. Some time after 6.30pm someone arrived with a few pizzas, I managed to get one of the last slices, which was more than welcome.

I stayed on the blockade until shortly after 7pm. At that stage a few people had gone, and had been replaced by more, but while I was there the number walking on the blockade varied between 65 and 75, with a few more standing around. Allowing for those who were replaced the total number of individuals who took part in the blockade while I was there would have been about 90.

author by blockerpublication date Fri Oct 03, 2003 11:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Did any trucks get out and collect rubbish? The council are saying that they knew of the blockade in advance and made other arrangments and only one truck was held up, is this true? IS there uncollected waste on the streets or not?

author by Tony McKennapublication date Fri Oct 03, 2003 11:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Pay the Jaysus tax, will ye?

Ever heard of Polluter Pays?

author by P1 - Nonepublication date Fri Oct 03, 2003 11:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The polluter in this country is agriculture and industry. Household waste is a small portion of the total waste/pollution produced in Ireland. We are not allowed to have any control over the waste that we bring into our homes; if we did then the only waste in our house would be leftover food. For example excessive packaging cannot be left behind at point of purchase - I've tried this in supermarkets and I have been told that I would be banned if I didn't stop.

Furthermore the reason the bins haven't been collected is that the councils don't want to empty ALL bins.

In any case this protest movement is not about waste it is about TAX!! It is a protest against an attempt by the ruling class in this country to shift the weight of taxation more heavily onto workers. If you are interested in the details go to before you start whinging.

author by D McKennapublication date Fri Oct 03, 2003 12:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Exactly P1

Audit Scotland, which conducted a study for the Accounts Commission - the latest in a series comparing the performance of councils in delivering a range of services - also found that the average cost of rubbish collection in Scotland was just under 1 per address per week.

That is 1 sterling per week x 52 = 52 per year => 72 euro per year

A hell of a lot less than the figures being bandied about at present

Why should householders subsidise Business ?

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author by Dissenterpublication date Fri Oct 03, 2003 12:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A "Jaysus Tax"? Do atheists and agnostics have to pay that? What denomination benefits?

Seriously though, the real waster here is Tony. Pity he could not put forward a coherent argument.

author by Joepublication date Fri Oct 03, 2003 12:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

As for the council claims 'well they would say that wouldn't they'. Its very important for the council that they make all our actions seem impotent.

As to the facts they did try and get a truck out and the crew of the truck were standing around while the protest was in progress. Presuming they intended to do more then go for a joy ride then yes losing a truck must had had some impact on the collection.

Of course its obvious that as this was an isolated action at one of the three depots that they could have got a truck out from another depot to do the run. If not they can put a truck on an extra run today. No one is pretending that this single action could bring collection in the commercial areas to a halt, rather it shows what is possible with city wide co-ordination and blockades on all depots.

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author by PKpublication date Fri Oct 03, 2003 12:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Sell out by the looks of it.
(Are Impact members doing anything on the ground and harassing their head office, it seems to have had an effect on SIPTU.)

Fingal Manager welcomes union statement

Earlier, Fingal County Manager Willie Soffe welcomed a recent statement made by IMPACT trade union and in particular, their recognition that jobs and services are 'effectively dependent on the domestic charges regime'.

The local branch of IMPACT also condemned the actions of individuals, including elected representatives. The branch has called for an apology for remarks made about Council staff by one of the leaders of the Anti-Bin Tax Campaign.

According to Mr Soffe, the support of the union has been crucial in implementing the waste charges, which are a requirement of EU and Irish law.

author by Andrewpublication date Fri Oct 03, 2003 12:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Grange Gorman blockade successful

Last nights blockade of the Grange Gorman bin truck depot was a success with no truck managing to leave during the three-hour blockade. These were the trucks that were to do the rubbish pick-up in the shopping areas of the city centre. Read on at

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author by conor (wsm personal capacity)publication date Fri Oct 03, 2003 12:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

DId any trucks get out
by blocker Friday, Oct 3 2003, 10:40am

Did any trucks get out and collect rubbish? The council are saying that they knew of the blockade in advance and made other arrangments and only one truck was held up, is this true? IS there uncollected waste on the streets or not?

One of protestors was heading home about 7.30 and rang me to tell me that town was still full of uncollected rubbish. One truck was blocked in the depot with 2 others behind - only one was attempting to get out

- about 8 pm another one came back in so they might well have sent one out earlier - but they had a full crew and a van and a truck waiting to leave for 3 hours i don't think they would have had lads there being paid to stand around if they already had arrangments in place.

My best guess is we caught them ! But its possible be thay sent a truck out earlier.......


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author by chris loughlin - socialist party, belfastpublication date Fri Oct 03, 2003 13:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

just a message of fraternal greetings from a socialist party member in belfast. i was on the protest march to the mountjoy last monday and it was a terrific demonstration. im just glad we live in such a free and democratic society both north and south that means ordinairy people go to jail for opposing crap policies!!!

all power to workers, students and ordinairy people of dublin. hope to be able to come down and help some time soon. your struggle is inspiring.

author by no bin taxpublication date Fri Oct 03, 2003 14:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Just been talking to someone from Northern Spain. Says bin tax there is 30 per year. Last year they tried to increase it to 45 per year and it was met with massive public opposition. The increase was scrapped. He was astonished with the level of the bin tax in Ireland.

author by Jennypublication date Fri Oct 03, 2003 15:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Last night was a great victory, we stuffed the City Council. Its a pity about the scabs in IMPACT. But even more disturbing was the abscence of SWP members on last nights blockade.

Brid Smith is supposed to be the City Campaign PRO. What is she doing? What did she do to publicise last nights action and why didnt she even get the SWP to turn out?

author by maurice the pratpublication date Fri Oct 03, 2003 15:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

P1 wrote above:
"For example excessive packaging cannot be left behind at point of purchase - I've tried this in supermarkets and I have been told that I would be banned if I didn't stop."

Very interesting this. In Germany from where I'm writing retailers like supermarkets are legally obliged to provide bins for customers to dump excess packaging at the point of purchase.

Would be interesting to see if this is purely domestic legislation or whether it results from an EU directive - which should have legal force in Ireland too.
Would be just like the Paddy-Gombeen-Politicos (FF, PD & Co.) to have signed up to something like that and then ignored its implementation because it would cost their business friends too much.

Might be worth investigating to see what the legal position is regarding return of packaging at the point of purchase - of course the f**kers don't want you to do it but it may be that EU regulations actually oblige them to do so ...
anyone know what the position is ?

While I'm on a roll, let me say that I am constantly appalled by the amount of one-way packaging forced on the consumer in Ireland - not just the problem referred to by P1 - especially in regard to drinks.

In Germany for example (probably other EU countries as well) you have a real choice as to whether you purchase in plastic or in glass bottles. The glass bottles have a deposit and can be returned. So for example at a typical retail outlet you can buy a returnable crate of glass bottles with water, juice or beer etc.
Result ===> zero household waste on such purchases.

In ireland it's all plastic bottles and cans, absolutely no investment in any more sustainable infrastructure.

And not likely to be given the fate of the Ringsend bottling plant.

God be with the days when the pint of milk was delivered in glass bottles .... but of course that wasn't "profitable" enough ..........

Not surprising that the (urban) peasants are revolting .....

author by conor (wsm personal capacity)publication date Fri Oct 03, 2003 16:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It appears to me that Irish companys have wiggled out of EU packaging regulations by paying a standard amount to REPAK instead of meeting their EU obligations to actually take back the packaging. i'm not 100% on this and how it works and would be interested in more info

I do know that there's a further EU directive going into law that they are HOPPING MAD about. This is that with electrical and other goods that when they wear out they will have to take the actual good back eg old computers etc. Computers - of course - being one of the most polluting items to manufacture

any way lets hope the "bussiness community" aren't allowed to "lobby" their way out of this one - pollutor pays is right !


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author by Joepublication date Fri Oct 03, 2003 16:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Dublin City Council will seek to have 25 anti-waste charge protestors jailed or fined next Wednesday for blocking its bin lorries.

The head of the council's waste management division told the High Court this morning that campaigners had been issuing leaflets saying that the campaign would be escalated in the next few weeks and all bin collections would be halted.

Tom Loftus told the court that the council had continued to experience considerable disturbance and disruption to its waste collection service despite a High Court injunction preventing protesters from interfering with the service.

The President of the High Court, Mr Justice Joseph Finnegan, granted the council leave to serve attachment and committal orders on 25 protesters: the case will be heard next Wednesday."

author by Paulpublication date Fri Oct 03, 2003 16:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It would seem that all the people named in the paper are involved in the Finglas Anti-Bin tax campaign and were involved in the blockade on Wednesday.

author by maurice the pratpublication date Fri Oct 03, 2003 17:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Did a quick bit of research.

Found that as far back as 1994, the EU issued the following Directive on on packaging and packaging waste

European Parliament and Council Directive 94/62/EC of 20 December 1994 on packaging and packaging waste

Article 7 makes interesting reading.
I really have to ask what "measures" have been put in place in Ireland.

Whenever I go back there I don't see any progress.
The complete predominance of one-way packaging is depressing.
Whatever happened to consumer choice .....

Article 7
Return, collection and recovery systems

1. Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that systems are set up to provide for:
(a) the return and/or collection of used packaging and/or packaging waste from the consumer, other final user, or from the waste stream in order to channel it to the most appropriate waste management alternatives;
(b) the reuse or recovery including recycling of the packaging and/or packaging waste collected,
in order to meet the objectives laid down in this Directive.

These systems shall be open to the participation of the economic operators of the sectors concerned and to the participation of the competent public authorities. They shall also apply to imported products under non-discriminatory conditions, including the detailed arrangements and any tariffs imposed for access to the systems, and shall be designed so as to avoid barriers to trade or distortions of competition in conformity with the Treaty.

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author by Moipublication date Fri Oct 03, 2003 22:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

'no bin tax' said:
"Just been talking to someone from Northern Spain. Says bin tax there is 30 per year"

Any further info on this? Anyone? If we could get accurate information on this we would have a powerful argument to counter the barrage of misinformation we are getting at the moment.
Maybe our man in Barcelona can mount an investigation? Iosaf?

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