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Councillors agreed new bylaws for how households should store and put out their waste, at Monday’s monthly meeting of Dublin CIty Council at City Hall.
Just seven people had written in to the public consultation on the issue. “It’s just not a very exciting area,” said Naoise Ó Muirí, the Fine Gael councillor who chairs the council’s environment committee. “They’re not revolutionary changes,” he said.
How people in apartment blocks should manage waste was one big question councillors looked at, he said.
One part of the bylaws, section 2.9 – which sets out how apartment blocks and combined living and work spaces should have separate receptacles for different kinds of waste, and a secure place for them – is an effort to put the onus for that on the management company or landlord, he said.
“It’s a very important step in the right direction,” Ó Muirí said.
Críona Ní Dhálaigh, a Sinn Féin councillor, said that there seemed to her a continued emphasis on the responsibility of people disposing of their waste, rather than companies, which bothered her.
She and other councillors had raised questions about waste-collection companies leaving litter strewn on streets, and driving around outside of set hours.
The debate snowballed too into a wider discussion of whether waste collection, and littering in the city, had gotten worse since it was privatised. Some councillors had been pushing for a while for a report on what it would cost to make waste collection a council function again.
“We have gotten out of the business some years ago. Why should we go back in?” said Dick Brady, assistant chief executive for the environment.
Chief Executive Owen Keegan said he would do a report for councillors on bringing waste management back into the council though.
College Green Plaza Trial
Labour Councillor Dermot Lacey asked if the manager was considering Dublin Chamber’s “sensible” idea of having trial runs of what a pedestrianised plaza at College Green might be like.
“It is something that we are actively considering and looking at at this point in time,” said Assistant Chief Executive Dick Brady.
They’re looking at it for the summer months at the moment, Brady said.
Can Students Claim HAP?
Sinn Féin Councillor Críona Ní Dhálaigh said a student had come to see her who was on a Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) for student accommodation – and who was later told they couldn’t have it.
“Have we got a policy?” Ní Dhálaigh said. Some students might be on the housing list, so can they get HAP payments towards student accommodation? she asked.
She also raised concerns that blocks in her area of the city, the south-west, were being used for more than for student accommodation, despite their designation.
“I need to check that out,” said Brendan Kenny, the council’s head of housing. “That’s something new for us.”