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Refuse Refusal in Lusk and Fingal

LUSK -- Fingal County Council is facing increasing opposition over its plans for charging householders refuse removal charges - also known as the 'bin tax'. Following the introduction of a law earlier this year enabling the council to ignore those bins placed for collection without the paid-for 'bin tag' attached, Fingal Council have this week tried to implement this policy - with mixed results. Yesterday five refuse vehicles from a total of ten were hemmed in by people peacefully protesting about the introduction of this tax.

anti bin tax fingal
The tax amounts to some 550 Euro per year [and that's money that we have already paid tax on] - and the service is not yet privatised. Irish Minister for the Environment Martin Cullen, who signed the new directive into law, has stated that each household should be paying around 700 Euro a year. Thanks Fianna Fail. One can only imagine the charges in place were this service to go private.

Fingal Council have been trying to put this tax in place for the last two years - and have met with strong opposition throughout their campaign to make householders pay for rubbish collection. Protesters against the tax see the charge as a stealth tax, a tax on money that has already been taxed, as anti-family and as a precursor to privatisation of refuse collection.

Now I am all for proper management of waste - I was behind the NIL Campaign [No Incineration Lusk] and have campaigned the last three years to get Fingal County Council to come good on their promises to close Baleally Landfill Dump - situated a mile or so from my home. I feel that they are being very disingenuous about this latest tax though. This is why.

We were promised recycling bins some two years ago. We're still waiting for these to arrive, so we have very little control over waste disposal for recyclable materials, short of taking them to collection centres ourselves. If the reduction of waste is such a pressing problem as Fingal Council claim, why do we still not have recycling facilities? Fingal Council are trying to persuade people that there is no need to place a full trolley bin out each week - but with a family of five we find our bins full with two days to go to collection day. Yes we compact everything. Dinkies [dual income no kids] could probably go a month without a bin collection. Families can't.

And yes, I believe that this is a precursor to privatisation. There's money to be made in waste. The more waste you produce, the more waste companies make money. Waste collection charges soared in Galway from 70 Euro per annum to over 250 Euro within three years on privatisation. I believe waste to be such a burning issue, if you'll pardon the pun, that management of waste services and facilities are in the public interest and should be left in that domain.

Councillor Clare Daly is leading the protests against the bin tax. I had the pleasure to meet Clare last year as she was running for the Dail. She was most supportive in our campaign against the [failed] incinerator planned for Lusk by Treasury Holdings. She speaks plainly and forcefully, a people's champion. If anyone can rid us of this most unfair tax against the PAYE worker in this county then Clare can.

Our waste is being collected tomorrow. Or maybe it won't be. We'll be running a first for North Dublin - a live protest campaign blog - as it happens, - on the doorstep so to speak.

I will not be attaching a bin tag to the bin. I've paid buckets of tax, and I don't see why I now have to go out to try and find another 1000 Euro from somewhere to pay to get my bins emptied. Why am I paying taxes in the first place if not for that? I see the tax as punitive and fundamentally unfair, as it biases towards individuals and not households. I will be exercising my democratic right to conscientiously object.


And the latest news at 20:29 Thursday from RTE --

Anti-waste charge campaigners say they will continue their campaign of protests despite an injunction from the High Court warning them not to obstruct bin collections.

The chairperson of the Fingal anti-bin tax campaign, Claire Daly, said protests were planned for Balbriggan, Rush, Lusk, Skerries, Portrane, and Donnabate where refuse collections are due to take place tomorrow.

One lorry is still being blocked by protestors, which include Socialist Party TD, Joe Higgins, in the Royal Oak Estate in Santry in North Dublin.

Fingal Anti Bin Tax Campaign [A Doop Site!]

September 11, 2003 in Lusk | Permalink


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CLONMEL HOTSPOT -- Most hourly news reports in Ireland cover the street drama between protestors and garbage collectors in Dublin. The protestors resent paying to have their rubbish collected so they're blocking garbage trucks from streets where rubbis... [Read More]

Tracked on Sep 12, 2003 12:12:47 PM


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