Council bylaws restrict some collection services

Wallace Recycling, Westmeath’s family owned waste service company, has been told by Westmeath County Council that it must cease collecting bins weekly.

Previously the company offered customers a weekly refuse and recycling collection; however county bye-laws state that: “by ensuring the collection of residual waste is not made available to householders on a more regular basis than the collection of dry recyclables”.

Westmeath County Council have written to Wallace Recycling stating that “It has come to our attention that your company has been operating a Waste Collection Service which is in breach of Westmeath Co Council Waste Collection Service Bye-Laws 2009. These Bye-Laws were adopted by the Council and are operative for all Co Westmeath since 1st July 2009.”

“I note that marketing leaflets distributed by your organisation refer to weekly refuse collection and fortnightly recycling collection.”

The letter went on to say that Wallace Recycling had only been granted a waste collection permit in accordance with these bylaws.

The letter from the council, which was dated December 22, 2009 requested that Wallace Recycling respond within 14 days providing “an outline of your current waste collection schedule in County Westmeath; your proposal for compliance with the Bye-Laws; your proposal for correcting the information material already distributed”.

Michael Wallace, Managing Director of Wallace Recycling has hit back at the attempts of Westmeath County Council to damage a local company which employs nearly 40 people.

“We have been providing a weekly service for more than five years now so why is it that we are now suddenly being told we are not allowed to? This is the first we ever heard of it.”

He added, “I am a family man with three small children and I need weekly collections. What on earth will happen to the larger families in Westmeath who need their bins collected weekly, are we to just leave them and let them suffer with rodents, vermin and so on? They will have nowhere to turn!”

“Why can we not just be left alone to get on with it. Why penalise the local company which is offering the best service? We are the only EPA licenced facility allowed to take in domestic waste for further processing and recovery before going to landfill. On top of that we have always adopted the polluter pays principle and encouraged recycling.”

The council axed its bin collection service at the end of December. Anyone who had their bins collected by the council and needs to sign up with a new agent should call Wallace Recycling on (044 ) 9347177 if calling from Mullingar and (090 ) 6487007 if calling from Athlone and register for free.

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