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 DCC Binmen putting bins back in correct place

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PostSubject: DCC Binmen putting bins back in correct place   Wed Aug 27, 2008 11:22 am

There seems to have been some kind of bin-man re-education (or perhaps a bin-man re-assignment) in my local area. The bins are now being put back where they were outside the house after being emptied.

Is this because the local authority are worried about impending competition in Dublin city Council areas from Panda etc? Up to now DCC has been such good value that the competition haven't bothered. I expect that the prices are going up (I think you will have to have an account in credit in advance) and the competition will come in.

As far as I know DLRR has a problem where they are paying binmen the same pay as always even though their workload has been reduced by up to 75%. The binmen are refusing to work additional roads as it is not part of their terms and conditions. (That type of carry-on gives the working man a bad name). As a result, DLRR want the business back as they are keeping all the employees anyway. However, they have another problem now in that Panda will do all types of recycling and will separate the waste for you, i.e., cleaner environmental conscience with half the work for the consumer.

Anyone else experienceing a more professional service from Dublin City Council these days?
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PostSubject: Re: DCC Binmen putting bins back in correct place   Wed Aug 27, 2008 11:45 am

Is there opportunity for you to avoid the costs or lower them at least by doing your own recycling/composting/burning in your back garden? Seriously the costs are exorbitant at times. In Germany people go to the recycling centre and put their stuff there. I can't remember what they do with their other waste ... one bin a month or something probably. I do this myself - recycle everything. It gets me out of the house.
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PostSubject: Re: DCC Binmen putting bins back in correct place   Wed Aug 27, 2008 12:31 pm

I go to the bring centre when I can but it is time consuming and dirty work. Generally I get the time about once a month. The Green bin is only collected every two weeks which is not enough. If you miss a collection you are screwed. In their favour, they have recently added plastic bottles to the list of recyclables which is great (if long overdue).

You can compost but I don't have all that much spare room living in the city as I do. You certainly can't burn and the City Council insists that you don't make a mess when you bring stuff to their composter. You have bring your stuff in bags and sweep up after yourself. Generally speaking, it is like many other state services - designed to serve those providing it rather than those availing of it.

DCC general waste collection has been good value to now. I expect they are going to put up their prices, and that is why they are looking over their shoulder at the opposition.
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PostSubject: Re: DCC Binmen putting bins back in correct place   Wed Aug 27, 2008 12:36 pm

Composter? How does composting work in the cities? It's handy to have a garden and one of those compost bins.. So how many bins do you have and what colours? A green for recycling and a blue for everything else?

I think it's a shame that such lovely skins of veggies is going to waste - cities could be producing a vast amount of compost which could be used again and again - in city parks, gardens and even sold to the public. Maybe this happens already but I think that Galway has a few entrepreneurs who have seen the value in this and are exploiting the needs of the catering industry to dump - used potato and carrot skins is how people can make a fortune these days.
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PostSubject: Re: DCC Binmen putting bins back in correct place   Wed Aug 27, 2008 12:44 pm

Green for recycling, Black for everything else. They collect the Black Bin every week (if you put it out every week) and they collect the Green Bin every second week.

We're getting a Brown Bin for organic waste. I was under the impression we (people in DCC) were to have already received it by August, clearly not.
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PostSubject: Re: DCC Binmen putting bins back in correct place   Wed Aug 27, 2008 12:55 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
Is there opportunity for you to avoid the costs or lower them at least by doing your own recycling/composting/burning in your back garden? Seriously the costs are exorbitant at times. In Germany people go to the recycling centre and put their stuff there. I can't remember what they do with their other waste ... one bin a month or something probably. I do this myself - recycle everything. It gets me out of the house.
In Germany - at least when I lived there, you could leave your packaging at the supermarket, take back your plastic and glass bottles and get a deposit back and the compost bin was collected. There was one bag for non-recyclable waste such as plastic wrap that had covered meat, etc and another yellow bag that was for all recycling which is separated at the site. Apparently the Swiss barcode their bags and you can be fined if there are items in the bag that shouldn't be - but Slim Buddha will know more about that than I do.

We don't have a bin service where I live, so it's regular trips to the 'civic amenity centre' - who thought up that name for a recycling centre/dump? Storage is a small bit of a problem. Between the two of us it can take a month to fill a swing bin bag for the dump because we recycle everything. We have a green bin, cooked waste goes to the slurry pit and the 'civic amenity' takes plastic, glass, tins, cans, newspapers, magazines, cardboard (including drink cartons), electricals - just about everything. We have to have a key fob in credit to access the dump, but because we have so little, it goes with my mother's or mother-in-law's every now and again. It's a very sociable, amenable place, our amenity.
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PostSubject: Re: DCC Binmen putting bins back in correct place   Wed Aug 27, 2008 12:58 pm

They will sell you a composter for not too dear but I don't know what you are supposed to do with it when full - spread it on the gravel I suppose!

The brown bin sounds good. I had heard rumour of that before but I will believe it when I see it. The real problem is how to fit all the separate waste receptacles in the kitchen that can later be emptied to the wheelie bins.
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PostSubject: Re: DCC Binmen putting bins back in correct place   Wed Aug 27, 2008 1:11 pm

On the subject of bins being returned to the right place, it's about time there was a re-education programme for binmen in that regard; I've seen pedestrians and drivers swerving around them because some lazy person has left them on the road beside the footpath or in the middle of the footpath rather than putting them somewhere safe.

But that's probably not in the terms or conditions either Rolling Eyes
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PostSubject: Re: DCC Binmen putting bins back in correct place   Wed Aug 27, 2008 1:19 pm

did i read somewhere that the councils were scrapping competition with their collections arguing that "competition" only means competition in the tendering process for the service. i.e. dcc opens tender to competition but the consumer is still in a monopoly situation having to pay the council rather than a competitor.
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PostSubject: Re: DCC Binmen putting bins back in correct place   Wed Aug 27, 2008 1:37 pm

zakalwe wrote:
did i read somewhere that the councils were scrapping competition with their collections arguing that "competition" only means competition in the tendering process for the service. i.e. dcc opens tender to competition but the consumer is still in a monopoly situation having to pay the council rather than a competitor.

Well the system as it stood was a bit of a joke. There was total competition in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown with 4 operators all going down the same road. There is also a side issue that the private companies don't like to admit. The only reason that they are able to provide the service cheaper is that they are not providing the full service. Your bin levy will also go to pay for your local bottle banks, bring centres and 'civic amenity centres' (thanks Kate!) whereas when you go with a private operator you are only paying for the collection of your bin, hence shifting the burden of supplying the other services more onto the shoulders of those who remain with the council collection despite the fact that everyone benefits from the additional services.

The only solution was either tighter regulation of the private market by means of tender or to bring back a council tax which would pay for the other services. The latter option is very unpopular.


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Re the brown bin: - http://www.dublinwaste.ie/the_brown_bin.html
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PostSubject: Re: DCC Binmen putting bins back in correct place   Wed Aug 27, 2008 1:52 pm

johnfás wrote:
zakalwe wrote:
did i read somewhere that the councils were scrapping competition with their collections arguing that "competition" only means competition in the tendering process for the service. i.e. dcc opens tender to competition but the consumer is still in a monopoly situation having to pay the council rather than a competitor.

Well the system as it stood was a bit of a joke. There was total competition in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown with 4 operators all going down the same road. There is also a side issue that the private companies don't like to admit. The only reason that they are able to provide the service cheaper is that they are not providing the full service. Your bin levy will also go to pay for your local bottle banks, bring centres and 'civic amenity centres' (thanks Kate!) whereas when you go with a private operator you are only paying for the collection of your bin, hence shifting the burden of supplying the other services more onto the shoulders of those who remain with the council collection despite the fact that everyone benefits from the additional services.

The only solution was either tighter regulation of the private market by means of tender or to bring back a council tax which would pay for the other services. The latter option is very unpopular.


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Re the brown bin: - [url=http://www.dublinwaste.ie/the_brown_bin.html
http://www.dublinwaste.ie/the_brown_bin.html[/quote[/url]]

good point re total service. however, i think that reducing competition and forcing everyone to pay the council and the council pockets the savings is not a good idea. i also think it strange that north dublin city has a flat fee (of approx e100 around a year ago) whereas dun laoighre rathdown has annual charges around 4 times that. why the difference? i also think that the current competition could constitute unfair state subsidy in a competitive market due to the staff of the administrators etc being funded ultimately by the taxpayer.
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PostSubject: Re: DCC Binmen putting bins back in correct place   Wed Aug 27, 2008 1:58 pm

zakalwe wrote:
i also think that the current competition could constitute unfair state subsidy in a competitive market due to the staff of the administrators etc being funded ultimately by the taxpayer.

You can derogate from the provisions regarding State subsidies on grounds of public policy, public security, public morality etc. That is why you can have State subsidised buses and things like that as well as waste disposal. They form part of the national infrastructure so are treated differently by National and European Competition law from other markets.

An Irish European case law example of this is the provision that a certain amount of oil sold in Ireland must be refined in Ireland. Despite being an anti competitive practise and also a restriction on free movement, this was upheld by the ECJ on the basis that it was a matter of Irish security.
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PostSubject: Re: DCC Binmen putting bins back in correct place   Wed Aug 27, 2008 2:35 pm

Zhou_Enlai wrote:
They will sell you a composter for not too dear but I don't know what you are supposed to do with it when full - spread it on the gravel I suppose!

The brown bin sounds good. I had heard rumour of that before but I will believe it when I see it. The real problem is how to fit all the separate waste receptacles in the kitchen that can later be emptied to the wheelie bins.

Compost when it is ready to use would make a lovely Christmas gift for your friends with gardens or window boxes. You could pack it up in a stout brown paper bag and tie the top with a straw bow. I can see it now selling in Avoca at €10.00 a pop. Very Happy

imo this is another example of a public service that was being provided perfectly well but that is now turning into a wasteful and costly mess since privatised.
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PostSubject: Re: DCC Binmen putting bins back in correct place   Wed Aug 27, 2008 3:02 pm

cactus flower wrote:

Compost when it is ready to use would make a lovely Christmas gift for your friends with gardens or window boxes. You could pack it up in a stout brown paper bag and tie the top with a straw bow. I can see it now selling in Avoca at €10.00 a pop. Very Happy

Very Happy Very Happy

My experience of bin-men was that they were often dog-ignorant. I remember one coming in looking for his "christmas card" and them throwing the card on the driveway as he walked out wth the cash. He was a DLRR bin-man. It seems that the DLRR are trying to generate more work for these guys because they can't face down the unions. Perhaps, like Sir Humphrey Appleby, the mandarins realise that effiencies at that level could disastrously lead to efficiencies at higher levels too.

The last DCC bin-man I interracted with was the picture of courtesy. Nevertheless, I am absolutely blown away by their new attention to detail in putting bins back. I consider this improvement a major breakthrough in the operation of local auhorities. I'd love to know is it inspired by pride in their work or fear of cut backs. All in all, I think that if waste collection and disposal can be properly provided by private operators then the state and local authorities shouldn't be in the business of employing bin-men. Let the private operators deal with the unions individually so they can't hold the whole country to ransom.
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