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‘Is Dublin City Council allowing hazardous waste on our streets?’

DUBLIN City Council’s plans to do away with bin bags cannot happen quick enough for one city centre resident.

The local authority wants to introduce a bin bag ban for thousands of Dubliners whose homes are not suitable for wheelie bins.

Late last year they issued an invitation for companies to find an alternative solution and are now working their way through the responses to see which of them is worth exploring further.

Up to three ideas will be chosen, with a total fund of €50,000 available to allow them develop prototypes for testing.

Legislation requiring the use of bins instead of refuse sacks came into force in 2016, but residents of more than 1,000 streets, mainly in the city centre, were exempt from the new rules because their homes were unsuitable for bins.

One of those residents is Kevin Flanagan who lives in Drumcondra.

Mr Flanagan is calling on the Council to immediately ban the “official” plastic bags that Dubliners are required to use to dispose of their rubbish.

“These bright yellow bags spill potentially lethal Covid face masks onto our streets for our children to pick up,” Mr Flanagan told Northside People.

“They are made of environmentally harmful, one-use plastic.

“They are an irresistible temptation for Dublin’s growing population of seagulls, whom we are conditioning to rip the bags open and feed off the contents.

Rubbish from ripped bin bags outside Kevin Flanagan’s front door

“This allows litter to fill our streets with hazardous waste including Covid masks, soiled babies nappies & decaying foodstuffs that attract rats and spread Weil’s disease..

“These bags are the only legal means for many Dubliners to dispose of their domestic waste and they are not cheap.

“For example a set of 3 costs over €13.”

Mr Flanagan says he became aware of the problem when his own bags were ripped after being left for collection by the official waste contractors for DCC on the Drumcondra street where he lives.

Kevin Flanagan’s grandchildren Maya (4) Kuba (6)

“My grandchildren Kuba (6) and Maya (4) are very environmentally aware,” Mr Flanagan said.

“They help me clear up the waste on my street and in my neighbourhoods.

“They even recycle some of the rubbish they find.

“But because the rubbish is so hazardous they need callipers to pick it up

“The solution is simple, use solid reusable plastic bins that are impervious to seagulls.

“The question is: why is Dublin City Council still allowing the use of this system?

“It has to stop!”

Dublin Beta Projects (DBP), a council-supported initiative which examines new ways to organise living in the city, say that the public’s favoured solution was shared domestic waste bins on the public street, which is common in many other European cities.

“They neatly sidestep the issue of timing as anyone can put out waste at any time,” it said.

Northside People contacted Dublin City Council for a comment but had not received a reply at the time of going to press.

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