Avoid your bin charge (Legitimately)

MY mate refuses to pay his bin charges. But he won’t find himself up in court because he deals with his own rubbish. His solution could well be the answer to many people’s waste problems.

Richard Crisp comes from Lowestoft, the most easterly town in Britain, where men are men and fish are nervous. Faced with the privations of the chilly North Sea, Lowestoft men evolved into a practical lot. 

Arriving in north Kildare Richard’s local waste company wanted some e340 annually to deal with his rubbish. Instead, he deals with it himself for around e30. How does he do it?

Firstly, he recycles absolutely anything that can be recycled. He separates plastic, paper, cans (he has a good few of those) and so on.

Then he has a compost bin where he throws in his grass cutting, veggie skins and so on. Finally, he has a wheelie bin for his rubbish.

He’s careful not to buy too much packing when he does his shopping, buying loose veg and so on.

His bin takes two months to fill. Then he goes to the amenity centre where they charge him around e5 to dump. Getting rid of the recyclables is, of course, free. And the compost bin provides free compost.

It mightn’t suit everyone as a system, but everyone could surely follow part of the way.

Why I paid up

I WAS not of a mind to pay my bin (environmental) charge and I wrote why in this column.

It was mostly because I believed that the ‘environmental’ part of the name was bogus. Consequently, I didn’t pay up for a long time.

However, the provision of a green bin convinced me to give the charge the benefit of the doubt. The green bin has transformed recycling in my house and it’s one of those things that has you scratching your head and wondering why it wasn’t introduced years ago.

I live in South Dublin County Council area where the charge is still flawed. Firstly, it is a flat tax and takes no account of people trying to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill. (The Fingal tag system is much better). Secondly, again, it is a flat tax and undermines the principles of our generally progressive income tax system. Thirdly, it puts no pressure on the primary producers of most of the waste – manufacturers.

So the charge isn’t perfect. But it is reformable and the pressure should not be on abolishing it but on making it do the job it’s supposed to do – to minimise waste.

I don’t buy the ‘double taxation’ argument. There’s nothing wrong with local taxation or charges. In fact, local government and local democracy is a sham without them. 

Let them go

IT is truly sickening to see manifestly decent people like Joe Higgins and Clare Daly in jail while the chancers and grafters of tribunal-land walk the streets with impunity.

The idea that “everyone must obey the law” is utterly laughable. Utterly laughable.