Geraldine Mills, Athlone Labour Party area representative, says residents in Athlone have reacted with anger to new rules introduced by Allied Waste, which have resulted in bins in Beechpark and other areas of the town lying uncollected.
Until recently, residents simply bought a tag for their refuse bin and put it out for collection. However, Allied Waste have changed their terms and conditions, and have contacted customers to say that bins weighing more than 40kgs will not be emptied.
The nature of the change has angered residents, according to Ms Mills, as Allied Waste has not provided any way for residents to check the weight of the bin they are putting out.
Ms Mills said: “I’m aware of pensioners in Athlone who put out their bins last week as usual but found that they hadn’t been emptied. They have been told the bins were over 40ks, and needed two bin tags, which means a cost of €27 for one bin. How can that be fair? Many households don’t put a bin out every week, and unless Allied are willing to provide them with a way to check the weight before they put the bins out, this move is unacceptable. More than that, there is a real fear amongst people that this is just going to get worse.”
Ms Mills added that local residents have contacted Westmeath County Council to demand it take action, and local TD Willie Penrose of the Labour Party has undertaken to raise the matter in the Dáil.