Another Phil Mess

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From top: Former environment minister Phil Hogan; uncollected rubbish in Dublin’s north inner city.

He didn’t just give us water.

Seán McCárthaigh, in The Times (Ireland edition), reports:

The last government chose to maintain a fully privatised waste collection system, despite an internal report outlining the benefits of an alternative that could have involved less cost for homeowners.

Documents from the Department of the Environment, which have been seen by The Times, show that a system involving franchises for each local authority area was found to be more likely to deliver savings to customers four years ago and could have been introduced.

The model, known as “franchise bidding” would still have involved private companies, but they would have had to compete to win fixed tenders for each area in a policy change that would have given the state significant control over the process.

Despite the report’s conclusion the Fine Gael-Labour coalition ultimately backed the recommendation of the Department of Environment that it should maintain the existing structure when moving to the new pay-by-weight system, due to be introduced on July 1.

The decision, ultimately signed off by Phil Hogan, the then environment minister, allows private waste collection firms to continue competing for services in the same areas and included plans for stronger regulation.

The new pay-by-weight system has provoked controversy as private companies signalled price hikes for customers ahead of the launch date.

The decision not to opt for franchise bidding was made following outright opposition by members of the Irish Waste Management Association, which includes companies like Greenstar, Thorntons and Panda, to the franchise bidding model.

The analysis said the non-franchise Irish system of waste collection, which lets private firms compete for business, was “somewhat unique”, noting that its continuation with some extra regulation would “create a unique system of waste management in which the role of the private sector is central.”

“The near wholesale withdrawal of local authorities and the corresponding growth in the role of the private sector was not a policy goal and was not fully anticipated,” it said.

Private firms now collect 98 per cent of all household waste in a market estimated to be worth at least €250 million annually.

Government ignored report to cut waste cost (Seán McCárthaigh, The Times)

Thanks Richie

25 thoughts on “Another Phil Mess

    1. dav

      it’s built on the blood, sweat and lives of the workers, with no benefit to the workers

  1. Eoin

    Phil Hogan. Closest thing we have to an actual traitor. I hope he gets his just desserts some day. Scumbag.

      1. Nigel

        Also the police who think words have meanings, and they aren’t actually police, actually.

    1. Rob_G

      I really think that its a pity, in light of the barbaric murder of Jo Cox last week, that people continue to use this type of rhetoric.

      You don’t like the man’s politics; fine, but its possible to critique someone without resorting to ‘traitor’ and having weird revenge fantasies about them.

      1. dav

        How dare you disrespect Jo Cox by comparing her to hogan ( a piece of self serving pond scum)

      2. Charley

        He betrayed his own people for corporate interests, would that not be the definition of a traitor?

        1. MoyestWithExcitement

          He may, MAY, have genuinely believed that he was doing the right thing. If there’s evidence of his bank account increasing dramatically, then yeah he’s a traitor. Otherwise, he’s just some self serving bell-end who believes in the fairytale of right wing ideology.

          1. Rob_G

            “If there’s evidence of his bank account increasing dramatically”

            – I don’t believe that this has been demonstrated by anyone, ever

            “he’s just some self serving bell-end who believes in the fairytale of right wing ideology.”

            – fair enough; this is an example of criticising someone’s politics without getting all frenzied and foaming-mouthed about it.

          2. Charley

            You’d hardly be stupid enough to lodge a dodgy payment in your own bank account ,would you? Gold ,diamonds, bearer bonds, brown envelopes. He’s an ignorant c++t but hardly dim enough to use his own account.

          3. Rob_G

            So the absence of evidence is, in fact, further evidence of his guilt? I see – good man.

  2. AliBaba

    It would also be nice for binmen to have secure jobs, a continuing relationship with householders and a decent wage.

    Making people eager to recycle could be as simple as including recycling in the Tidy Towns marking (and getting more suburbs and inner city areas involved in Tidy Towns).

  3. JIMMY JAMES

    I DON’T WANT TO PUNCH A FACE, BUT IF I DO, IT WILL PROBABLY THE MOST PUNCHABLE IN THE WORLD

    1. Rob_G

      I met Phil Hogan in person one time; if I was going to punch a politician, I would probably pick someone smalles, he’s a monster.

  4. Fact Checker

    It is somewhat unusual to have competition IN the market rather than competition FOR the market.

    In places where waste collection is privatised what generally happens is a) householder pays the municipality; b) the municipality puts the contract (for zone x for time y) for collection out to tender; c) cheapest bidder wins; d) gets paid subject to contractual terms being met (customer service, environmental standards, etc).

    You have to be quite careful to get this right to avoid collusion (tacit or otherwise) between bidders. But it is done successfully in many places.

    I have never quite understood how the market has evolved this way in Ireland. Limited competition potentially keeping prices high for consumers coupled with inefficiency/congestion as two or three bin trucks ply the same routes.

  5. jonjo

    Why does the caption on that picture say “un-collected rubbish” in dublin’s north inner city.
    It implies somebody, who’s job it was to collect it, didn’t.
    A more accurate description would be “illegally dumped rubbish” in dublin’s north inner city.

  6. Disasta

    330 euro for bins in Cork.

    I put out the waste bin once a month. At most. The rest is recycled or composted.

    Rip off

  7. Mulder

    The old political saying, he rose without trace, but left a flood of irish water in his wake and now, a bad smell of rubbish.
    Say par for the course for irish politics.

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