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Cost of bin collection soars in Fingal

category dublin | bin tax / household tax / water tax | news report author Tuesday November 15, 2005 14:14author by John O'Neill - Irish Socialist Network (Personal capacity) Report this post to the editors

cost of tag for bin collection in Blanchardstown jumps a massive 50 per cent.

Merry Chrstmas from Fingal County Council. From January 2006 the cost of a bin tag is increasing from 5.00 euro to a whopping seven euro fifty a week! Finglal CC have written to all to advise them of this increase and inform them that "charges are still great value".

As Des Derwin forewarned in his submission to SIPTU on the bin tax.

"The facts of life for an average working family are very different and it is not necessary to detail that for a trade union member. Bin charges are just one aspect of this situation but working people understand that bin charges represent the thin edge of the wedge. They have seen the massive increases in these charges since they were introduced. They know that if the bin tax is established, a water tax will follow. Is it a coincidence that the same day Finance Minister Cowen warns of the burden of high Commercial Rates by Local Authorities on small business that IBEC issues a statement calling for the introduction of a local tax? The agenda is clear, the reintroduction of Domestic Rates through local authority stealth taxes."

Des went on to outline the fact that the implementation of the bin tax is for one purpose only namely the Privatisation of waste management

Des stated: "Some in the trade union movement have argued or have a fear that if we donít pay the charge the service will be privatised. The reality of what has happened over the last years shows the opposite of this to be the case. About 50% of Local Authorities have privatised the normal bin collection service. The area of green bin services and recycling is probably 100% in the private sector. This process has gone hand in hand with the introduction of bin charges.

The introduction of charges, enabling private companies to make a profit, is a necessary precondition for privatisation. In Dublin city, the more profitable areas like recycling are in private hands. In one year alone the two directors of Oxygen, the company with the contract on the green bin/bag service, were able to pay themselves a dividend of 5 million Euros each. This same company fought a viscous battle to try and prevent SIPTU representing its workforce.

Bin workers in the city now face redundancies, in large part due to the part-privatisation of the service which has taken place. The best way to defend council workersí jobs and conditions, and to resist further privatisation, is to demand and fight for the green bin service and all areas of waste management"

The people of greater Dublin can look forward to these charges spiralling until they reach sufficient profit margins, high enough that private companies will bid for rubbish collection contracts.

Related Link: http://irishsocialist.net/bintaxsiptu.html
author by John - ISNpublication date Tue Nov 15, 2005 14:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Dublin City Council will be meeting over the next month to decide on the annual estimates or budget of the city. The City Manager is proposing a 5% increase in the Bin Charge! To show our opposition and to put pressure on those councillors and parties who intend to vote for the Bin Charge, campaigners from all over the city will hold a protest at City Hall, Dame Street, Monday 21st of November at 6.15pm. Please come along to show that the people of Dublin still oppose the Bin Tax.

There is a possibility that the Council will try impose non-collection before Christmas. The latest information we have received indicates that they will attach a sticker to non-payers bins warning them to pay the tax or that their bin will not be collected the next week. As soon as this happens please contact us immediately. We are now fully prepared and ready to organise resistance to non-collection throughout the city.

author by Dermot Laceypublication date Tue Nov 15, 2005 14:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

John,

Why do you and your colleagues continue to persist on this false basis.

The facts are that the Manager sets the Charge external to the Estimates process. I wish that was not the case but as you know the law was changed and the situation is now as it is. In fact I presume the order determining the new charge which will be signed long before any vote on the Estimates. In fact it may already be signed. Contrary to your suggestions there will be no vote on the issue of the Charges because there can be no vote on the charges thanks to those who ensured along with your FFand PD alllies on this one that the charge would be taken out of the hands of Councillors. Accept the responsibility for that.

author by Amusedpublication date Tue Nov 15, 2005 14:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You could have shown your disgust with the dimunition of powers and stopped the estimates but no it was you who sided with your allies in FF and PD's and continue to do so.

author by Margaret Shawpublication date Tue Nov 15, 2005 14:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Are the bin charges part of the estimates?

author by eamonnpublication date Tue Nov 15, 2005 14:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

the tags cost 6 euro, Mr Lefty Facts Wrong...

i live in Blanch

this tells me that you don't buy them....

where do you dump your rubbish ?

author by Fingal Residentpublication date Tue Nov 15, 2005 15:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Couple of questions for you.
When did they go up to Ä6. Was it within the past two years - since non-collection started?
Would that make it a 50% increase in that time. Wouldn't that be considered to be a soaring rise even by Rip Off Ireland standards?

author by Colm Breathnach - ISN personal capacitypublication date Tue Nov 15, 2005 15:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Dermots point is factually incorrect. Yes, the City Manager sets the Bin Tax but this tax is then included in the final Estimates on which councillors vote. At the end of the process Councillors vote for or against these estimates, which include the Bin Tax. If a councillor is opposed to the Bin Tax, they simply vote against the estimates that contain them. So it is inaccurate to claim that councillors dont decide on this matter, in fact they have the final say.

Ah, but if they vote against the estimates the City Council will be abolished! Not necessarily: if councillors reject the Estimates, the Manager cannot simply ignore them. Estimates cannot be passed without the councillors consent. If the Estimates are rejected, the normal process is that the councillors and Manager engage in negotiations to see if things can be included or excluded. If the councillors persist the relevent Minister has the power to abolish the council and replace it with a commissioner but again the usual process is for further negotiations to take place and councils are rarely abolished.

Of course I am not saying that this is how the Bin Tax can be defeated just pointing out that two key contentions of pro-Bin Tax councillors are incorrect. As for fighting the Bin Tax or other unjust taxes/laws etc. the crucial factor is not how councillors vote but the direct mass action of working people to defeat these attacks.

author by tom eilepublication date Tue Nov 15, 2005 16:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

What are the chances of getting the people out Colm ?The issue has gone off the boil as far as I can see - people are getting waivers or paying up . The campaign fell down because it relied too much on the goodwill of householders and binmen without tackling the failure of SIPTU leaders to oppose the council's non-collection policy.
In the absence of clear instructions from SIPTU to its members , the campaign will be defeated ; we will be leading people up a rubbish-strewn garden path if we tell them otherwise .

author by Colm-ISN per cappublication date Tue Nov 15, 2005 16:45author email breathc at hotmail dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

If the campaign was defeated most people would be paying up by now, yet the most recent statistics clearly show otherwise. In a recent answer to Cllr Joan Collins, the City Manager revealed that less than half those liable have paid in full and a substantial minority have paid nothing. I dont have the exact figures to hand, hopefully Joan can post them later. If you take it as given that non-payment is much higher in working class areas such as Finglas/ Crumlin / Cabra etc. then its quite clear that a majority in these areas are not paying the Bin Tax.

As for the prospects for the campaign, I can only speak from my experience in the Finglas Campaign. In recent months we have actually strengthened the campaign and now have a large network of active supporters ready to leaflet etc. at short notice. We actively resisted the efforts of the council to force people to register their bins by a brief period of non-collection during summer. I am confident that in areas such as those mentioned above where there is an active campaign we can resist non-collection and maintain non-payment by mobilising large numbers of people. There a few other secondary factors in our favour, including the upcoming court case which may lead to a scrapping of the arrears, a substantial victory in itself and the prospect of a general election which will render the establishment politicians temporarily sensitive to pressure from below.

As for SIPTU, its leadership is an irrelevance to this issue, they will take whatever stance that suits them. The important factor is the stance of the bin men. From my information they are extremely reluctant to engage in non-collection and may not willingly collaborate with its imposition. Obviously there is a lot of work to be done still in this area. My advice to 'tom eile' or any other people who have ideas about how to win or criticisms of the tactics, is to get involved in your local campaign and put forward your views in that context.

author by CCCPpublication date Tue Nov 15, 2005 16:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The campaign is still strong in many areas of Dublin where activists have been disposing legally of rubbish into large mobile containers and where non-payment remains high (East Wall, Ballybough, Cabra to name a few). As of yet the state has been unable to rewrite the law to criminalise this activity (an opportunity there for you to show your true colours again perhaps Lacey?)

The only people responsible for leading anyone down a rubbish strewn path are the privatizers and those constantly cheerleading the demonization of the anti-bin tax campaign.

author by Interestedpublication date Wed Nov 16, 2005 09:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The first posting claims that bin workers in the City now face redundancies. When were these announced? Why have SIPTU and IMPACT actively negotiated extra payments for bin workers to implement the pay by use system? If the unions and bin workers are so opposed to the charge why are they putting their principles on hold while insisting on their cut from the proceeds of the charge ?

author by Dermot Laceypublication date Wed Nov 16, 2005 11:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There are NO proposals for redundancies in Dublin City Council Waste Collection Services.

and

Colm,

You are wrong. The Charges are determined seperately from the Estimates process and Councillors are specifically not allowed interfere with the charges so determined. Continuing to pretend that a vote for the Estimates is a Vote for the Charges is a nonsense - and I say that as someone who supports an independent finace raising structure for Local Government.

author by Fingallian - The Silent Majoritypublication date Wed Nov 16, 2005 11:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Fingal first brought in the tax in 2002 at Ä5.00. Ä7.50 in 2006 means an average increase of 10% pa - and it still is the cheapest in Ireland.

Since the end of the bin strike, in fairness to Fingal they have been adding on a lot more more recycling facilities - Coolmine, Balbriggan and there is one opening in Malahide next year. Maybe the bin tax campaign delayied these?

If campaigners are genuinely opposed to privatisation why have I never seem them blocking private trucks. Why attack the councils that still have their own service, waiver schemes and are at least trying to provide recycling facilities. I know you can say that you are trying to prevent privatisation but that is arguable. But what is not arguable is that if you succeed, Councils will have to abandon the service whether they want to or not.

author by BERNIE FINGLAS LONG SUFFERING TAX PAYERpublication date Wed Nov 16, 2005 13:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Bin Charges are being increased all the time to subsides the funding that should be coming from central Government to D.C.C., as we all know this is not the only STEALTH TAX they expect us to pay and they will continue and increase. The Campaign against the Bin Charges will continue because the ordinary Person on the street see it for what it is Double Taxation . I say well done to all those People across Dublin who refuse to pay this Tax, SUPPORT the PROTEST on Monday 21st December six o clock City Hall.

author by Anna Finglas Anti- Bin Tax Campaignpublication date Wed Nov 16, 2005 13:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Bernie i agree with you . Just one thing i think you have Christmas on your mind . The protest out side City Hall is on Monday 21st of NOVEMBER at six fifteen .

author by Terrypublication date Wed Nov 16, 2005 13:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The trend as we all know for the councils is to privatise the bin collection as soon as they can get people to pay the bin tax. This has happend around most of the country outside of Dublin.

The goal first and foremost by any private company is to make a profit and unless you have a complete monopoly it is imperative that there is growth in your particular domain. In the case of the privatised waste companies, it is therefore in there interest that the amount of waste produced (and dumped) by households etc actually increases OR that they gain a monoploy in order to fleece the customer.

There has been much bally-hoo over the years about recycling. However the fact is that our recycling rates are still appalling and our recycling infrastructure still does not come near what I saw in effect in Germany over 18 years ago. We are way behind.

Crucially a number of years ago, the idea of a levy on excessive packaging was defeated by the retail and food trade. Instead we eventually got the plastic bag levy, whilst good, does not address the volume of waste issue. This single obstacle alone guarantees to maintain the volumes of waste streaming into every home in Ireland. It breaks the link that would encourage less packaging and less waste -one of the three Rs -Reduce

Also the level of plastic bottle recycling -a very bulky item, is again appalling despite the fact that there is a very large plastic recycling plant in Ireland which gets all it's raw material from plastic bottle recyclers in Europe.

Quite simply at governmental and council level, there is only token effort at recycling. Relgious neo-con free-market type ideology prevents the re-introduction of glass bottle deposit systems and other scheme because they interfere with the so-called free-market.

The Green Bin service is already privatised. I hear in Fingal, those areas with only Gray Bins pay a lower price for the tag than areas with a Green and Gray bin. This implies that they are actually paying for the Green Bin service which it is claimed is free. We know the councils pay Oxiygen for this service. So if and when they do privatise the service, it is a certainty that charges will be introduced for recycling. Yes that right. People will then see no immediate advantage to this and recycling rates will plumment which brings us nicely to the next issue in this saga.

We still have the threat of a huge incinerator being built in central Dublin or possibly being relocated to Dublin West. Incineration is not recycling. What it does do though is allow a system of increasing waste volumes, incineration and then landfill. It very nicely suits those who continue to produce excessive package, the waste companies that collect waste (and need increasing quantities in order to maintain growth and profit) and of course the owners of the incinerator are kept happy -who no doubt will be another private company. It clearly not good for the environment, but yet we are told it's a Green solution. And don't forget incinerators generally burn stuff that you can recycle, like paper, cardboard, wood and plastic bottles.

The solution is to massively increase the rate of recycling and associated infrastructure. Encourage and give out free composting bins and introduce a levy on excessive packaging and bring in bottle deposit systems. It will never be in the interest of a proft company to do this. Therefore for the moment it should remain with the councils. Perhaps in the future it would be run by a collective of the people in each of their own areas.

As regards excessive packaging, one may wonder why supermarkets love it. Part of the reason is likely that, selling raw and unprocessed produce has a much lower profit margin. So take for example chicken. Instead of selling the chicken whole, by creating new products like Chicken Kev, Chicken burgers etc, that same chicken might now go to make up several packs of Chicken Kevs or Burgers. More packaging is now needed and of course the price in terms of cost per quantity is higher. Same with same potatoes. Instead of selling large bags, there is a push to sell packs of 4 for cooking as Baked Potatoes. Again you can charge a higher price per potatoe and you need more packaging. It's the same for practically every food item. We can see therefore that the introduction of an excessive packaging levy would disrupt this and therefore it had to be and was resisted by the retailers.

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