A Dublin Mid-West councillor has renewed calls for the household ‘Bulky Waste’ collection service to be reinstated by the Council. The call comes amid massive and growing costs of removing illegally dumped materials that are costing in the region of €1.4m annually. Councillor Derren Ó Brádaigh represents the Lucan and Palmerstown-Fonthill area and was speaking ahead of Halloween – a period that produces significantly increased levels of material waste and post bonfire clean-up costs.
Cllr Ó Brádaigh said “The Council spends approximately €1.4m per year on the collection and removal of illegally dumped materials. These costs include substantial wages costs, together with the cost of provision of vehicles complete with lifting equipment, fuel costs and the cost to dispose of the waste. In my view, bulky items such as household furniture, doors, wardrobes, beds, mattresses, etc account for a substantial percentage of the overall amount, whether in their originally dumped state or in the eventual embers of illegal burning.
Cllr Ó Brádaigh also said “Whilst there be may be some disagreement about the exact percentage that ‘bulky waste’ is responsible for within the illegally dumped figures recorded, it is nonetheless significant. The impact on our environment is a problem that still exists since this service was discontinued in 2008. I also support the re-municipalisation of domestic waste collection services for the simple reason, that I believe privatisation of services has been responsible for a further sizeable portion of the ongoing problem in terms of the ‘black bag’ dumping element.
Cllr Ó Brádaigh added “The equated annual cost previously for providing a bulky waste service to households on a semi-annual basis was in the region of €500k – €600k. This service covered 20,000 homes at the time removing 1,500 tonnes per year, and whilst any reintroduction could be expected to have increased costs with more homes, it is worth remembering that many householders have adopted better and more responsible recycling practices in the intervening years. Also, and importantly, this would help to provide an essential service for householders, trying to properly dispose of larger and more difficult items through environmentally conscious and cost-friendly methods.
Cllr Ó Brádaigh concluded “Whilst I recognise and fully support our efforts toward a circular economy that promotes re-use, rather than disposal or recycling of items, we are still awaiting development of schemes and facilities where the preparation of items for re-use can happen. Until we have reached this ideal scenario, I believe that there remains a requirement to provide a service to the community that tackles unwanted bulky household waste in a favourable way and that removes potentially environmental damaging build up from homes and back gardens.”