Louth County Council stick by decision to stop collecting plastic despite unanimous opposition from councillors

Louth County Council stick by decision to stop collecting plastic despite unanimous opposition from councillors

The issue to cease the collection of plastic from Bring Banks across Louth was debated for more than an hour at this morning’s meeting of Louth County Council but there will be no change in the policy despite opposition from all elected members of the local authority.

Talk of the Town reported at the weekend how a number of local representatives were unhappy at the decision to stop the collection of plastic from today. Many councillors only learnt about the change in policy late last week when a notice was posted on the social media pages of the local authority.

At today’s meeting Sinn Féin councillor Joanna Byrne brought an emergency motion to the chamber asking that “Louth County Council reverse their decision to cease collecting plastics from their bring banks, effective immediately.”

The motion was unanimously supported by all the councillors present from all parties. Almost all the councillors spoke on the issue, raising their concerns and questioning the logic behind the decision.

The Director of Services explained that most Local Authorities have ceased the collection of plastics with the intention of providing additional capacity for glass and can collections. The local authority said they would therefore be sticking by their policy.

Following the decision Cllr Joanna Byrne said: “We are told to recycle, we are encouraged to recycle and yet they place obstacles in the way of recycling plastic. We were told today that it costs €136,000 per annum for this service and people should recycle ‘responsibly’. Surely that’s what people are trying to do by bringing their plastics to the bring banks.”

Cllr Byrne also said: “The Green Party’s Mark Dearey pointed out to the Chief Executive that this decision was a serious breach of the regional waste management strategy but Ms Martin told him that the strategy didn’t specifically mention bring banks.”

Following the passing of the motion, Chief Executive Joan Martin said: “I have listened to the members and took on board their points but as of now I am not prepared to reverse the decision.”

Cllr Byrne said: “What is the point of having a waste management strategy if the Council doesn’t support its ethos and takes decisions which will in effect increase fly-tipping as people have nowhere to bring their plastics. The Chief Executive is assuming that people have cars or transport to travel to the recycling centres in Louth and have the money to pay the entrance fees. People are using their green bins responsibly but putting plastics into them will take up room in them and add to the weight which in turn will lead to additional fees on the household.”

All bring banks have ceased collections of plastics from this morning.

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