Limerick County Council official hits back at the minister as scrap collection row rumbles on

Aine Fitzgerald

Reporter:

Aine Fitzgerald

THE director of environment services at Limerick County Council has hit back at the Minister for the Environment over comments he made in the Dail in which he said the local authority’s decision to “pull the plug” on a so-called Scrap Saturday in the county showed a “lack of common sense”.

THE director of environment services at Limerick County Council has hit back at the Minister for the Environment over comments he made in the Dail in which he said the local authority’s decision to “pull the plug” on a so-called Scrap Saturday in the county showed a “lack of common sense”.

According to Gerry Behan, Minister Phil Hogan’s own department has “threatened” all local authorities, stating that if waste enforcement is not “improved” the department may withdraw enforcement funding from offending councils.

“Limerick County Council was, therefore, left with no alternative but to enforce the relevant legislation as per the minister’s department and the EPA’s instructions,” said Mr Behan.

“The council is merely applying the relevant government legislation in an even-handed manner.

“These particular waste streams have been the subject of ECJ cases where Ireland has been taken to task for its lack of enforcement,” he continued.

Mr Behan further explained that the Environmental Protection Agency contacted all local authorities in February of this year specifically instructing local authorities to enforce the relevant legislation in relation to charity collections.

Minister Phil Hogan made his comments during a Dail session when the issue of ‘Scrap Saturdays’ - which have become hugely popular as a fundraising vehicle for clubs across the county - was being discussed.