Arising from decision of meeting of Leitrim County Council on 13th January 2014 it has been agreed to defer the full implementation of the Pay-by-Weight Waste Collection System until 1st August 2014 and to operate a ‘Dual System’ of refuse collection in County Leitrim in the intervening period.
This means that householders will have the option of using either the new Pay-by-Weight system or the existing Tag system operated by their permitted Waste Collector until 31st July 2014, with all households required to operate on the Pay-by-Weight system as and from 1st August 2014.
This lead-in time will allow permitted Waste Collectors to communicate fully with their existing and prospective customers in relation to the new system and provides householders with an opportunity to inform and prepare themselves in this regard and to make the necessary arrangements for transfer to the new system.
Pay by Weight only will operate in County Leitrim as and from August 1, 2014. It should be noted however that Plastic Bags (Black/Blue) will not be acceptable for presentation of waste for collection as from February 1, 2014 and customers should contact their Waste Collector directly for refund of stocks of plastic bags in hand.
Householders must also obtain and use a brown bin/caddy for their collection as and from February, 2014.
It should also be noted that, as and from November 7, 2013, all householders in County Leitrim are required to register with a permitted Waste Collector of choice. If you have not already registered you are advised that you should do so now.
Cllr Mary Bohan raised the issue at the meeting when she called on the Council to request that the companies providing waste collection services in the county attend a meeting as a matter of urgency to discuss the proposed changes in the collection system. Some of these measures will cause extreme hardship for householders, she claimed.
A report by Director of Service, Environment, Emergency and Cultural Services explained, “A Pay-by-Tag system was introduced as an interim measure until routes were extended and weighing/billing technology became reliable and affordable.
“Problems anticipated with the tag system duly developed (infrequent presentation, excess bin weights, non-transparent use of the system, no clarity regarding customer-collector contract) and so the introduction of a revised bye-law became necessary.
“The bye-law places the onus on the contractor to provide the service necessary for compliance with National and EU Waste policies. The costs incurred by the collector will reflect the low density of population, the use of smaller collection vehicles, the distance to processing centres and landfills and the quality of the materials collected.
“The charges levied on the customer will be determined by competition. In this context, a restructuring of charges is considered likely at an early stage where the service charge proportion of the overall charge is reduced.”
Cllr Martin Kenny welcomed the deferment noting the pay by weight proposal “has caused widespread fear that the cost of refuse collection would increase considerably for householders. I and other Councillors had expressed concern at last Monday’s meeting that householders could not afford to pay extra for waste collection and that it would lead to more dumping and burning of rubbish.”
“A clear and fair system where people don’t end up paying more has to be the way forward and some progress was made this week toward that, with the time between now and August for people to access the pay by weight system and the much-needed reduction in the quarterly charge.”