Galway City Council’s refuse service is under threat, as customer numbers continue to fall.
City officials confirmed at Monday’s meeting at City Hall that the number of people using the city refuse scheme had fallen from over 20,000 to just 12,500, as competition increases within the private sector.
The provision of service to difficult areas, coupled with the provision of a waste waiver for the elderly and those on low income, has put major pressure on the viability of a public refuse scheme, and competitive rates have seen many customers leave the service for a private alternative.
Speaking at the meeting, one councillor acknowledged the difficulties faced by the local authority and recalled a case where a householder paid a private company to collect their bins, while availing of the council’s waste waiver for the attached granny flat.
However, the council is now making further efforts to attract new customers by introducing a fixed rate option of €229 for customers in 2013. Customers who incur fewer charges through the current pay-by-weight system will pay less.
Modifications are also being introduced to include a provision whereby waivers can be removed on foot of repeated contamination of brown or green bins.
The moves follow a difficult week for refuse services at Galway City Council, after the provider of the local authority’s bin truck fleet reclaimed their vehicles due to a dispute over the renegotiation of contracts. Normal service has now been resumed.