Will new legislation tackle evasion?
Failure on the part of all previous Environmental Ministers to see the Brown bin fully rolled out nationally in response to the EU’s Landfill directive of 2006, has led to all kinds of quick fix landfill diversionary methods which became acceptable to councils / environment heads. Our current Environment, Community and Local Government Minister Mr Alan Kelly TD is set to drastically change many of these quick fixes with the introduction of his Pay by Weight legislation in January followed by its implementation in July 2015. How will this change anything, well quite simply paying for your refuse by ‘weight’ instead of the previous ‘pay by bin or unit’ model, with the highest cost being
attributed to the ‘Black bin’ will force many households to get their heavy food waste out of it and into their new ‘Brown bins’ attracting a much lower cost. Where a household decides that such a cost is not an issue for them, well the councils FPN (Fixed Penalty Notice) fine circa €45 for noncompliance will be unavoidable and a great money spinner for councils.
Many councils, refuse collectors and householders rented and private have to date heavily resisted the implementation of Brown bin use, and very much like the Irish Water debacle, the idea was badly sold and no real National cohesive strategy devised to implement it. Many households gave the Brown bin back, or refused it outright aligning it to a rat procuring, fly infested, health endangering Pariah that would never be accepted by households. In reality it just contained the food waste a household always threw out but when separated from the main waste stream then it became a problem, to collect in a household and present for collection. As a nation we just loved the Black plastic bag, it took over from the steel rubbish bin in the 70’s, there were no limits to the quantity of bags presented and it was cheap. Its only weakness was it could be ripped by dogs and birds, but put in in a Black wheelie bin and all was sorted. Asking households to change from a practice that they were now in love with was never going to be easy.
But we are now seemingly moving back to the Black refuse bag as the bag of choice to evade all the regulations arising
around presentation of household waste. How! Its as simple as driving to the nearest garage forecourt that has a refuse compactor. For as little as €6 you can deposit a max of 2 black bag’s of any weight at any one time into this compactor or PTU (Pay to Use), punch in the digits from your receipt like a car wash and hey presto its gone.
So what has just happened here?:-
- You brought domestic refuse from your home to the Commercial compactor.
- You have a Commercial receipt for domestic waste.
- You have just added to the countries mixed waste / Residual waste issue, even if it was suggested to you to recycle first by the compactor company.
- And you don’t care where it goes as long as it’s gone from your door! Correct!
- This is the Apartment model being replicated all over Ireland, where domestic private and rented units can bring their waste to a central point and have it taken care of, but becomes commercial / Residual waste once deposited there.
- Commercial waste will not be tackled under Pay by Weight, no we have to be able to export this waste cheaply and can’t at this point prevent its creation. On the contrary we must encourage it.
Yes encourage it!
Here is a link to a recent article involving a Texaco filling station in Shannon Co Clare and Emerald Waste Company whom amazingly got planning permission from Clare co.co. no less, to have a refuse compactor / PtU unit (Pay to Use) on its forecourt. Even with the Chief Fire officer having issues with it, Clare co.co. were not for stopping on this so Clean Ireland a major refuse collector in Clare has taken an action against Clare co.co, on the basis that the PtU provides no Brown bin, Pay by Weight or Customer Identification option. Now that’s an unusual turn of events as it’s usually the councils taking actions against refuse companies, however on this occasion Clean Ireland have a very valid point, with DECLG (Dept Environment) bringing in legislation on Pay by Weight this month January 2015. Some refuse collectors such as Greyhound are currently making their customers aware of the impending changes, unlike the promises of the Department to do likewise. If you take this waste out of the household waste stream then Clean Ireland and similar companies cannot tender for its collection, as the householder now legally turned their domestic waste into Commercial / Residual waste.
We have become very clever over time in not having to deal with Brown bins, below are measures you may or may not know of.
- Mass sign ups to refuse collectors who offered all 3 bins for low cost.
- No recycling incentivisation here so most waste deposited into Black bin. All 3 bins for set price is no longer offered, now it depends on where you live and volume you present why else do you think they have been weighing your waste?
- Business owners bringing their household refuse into work skips.
- Came across this many times during conversation with people at door steps / markets.
- Bringing household waste to the bins on the Beach – Parks – Local Street Bins.
- This I thought was just done by OAP’s and low incomes but you would not believe who does this, and regularly as part of their daily drive and walk. Botanic Gardens Dublin took away their waste bins because of this, advised public to bring their own waste home.
- Buying Irish ‘Dragons Den’ Invention to compact waste into a Black bin.
- Remember the Bin Crusher that you attached to the top of the Black bin and simply pulled down on to squash in as much as you could? Reality of pay by unit.
- Stuffing Black plastic bags into bottom of Green Wheelie Bin.
- Now this is done so much as to not be funny as Nappies, Food and all nasty stuff gets thrown in here, as the bin is FREE! Waste traceability under Pay by Weight should address this.
- Putting waste into neighbours bin on bin collection night / morning.
- A renter and landlords nightmare resulting in users drilling and fitting Pad Locks to their bins.
Brown Bin Rescue’s shop Click Here is always at hand for you to get the Compostable materials you require to manage your brown bin successfully, without the stress or the odours and you save financially.
Denis Lawlor, Owner Founder of Brown Bin Rescue.
All images used are linked back to their source.