€2 entry fee for reycling centres are slammed
Wexford Labour Area Representative and former councillor Joe Ryan has called on Wexford County Council to review their entry charges introduced last week at four civic amenity centres around the county.
The county council had introduced a €2 charge to enter the sites, irrespective of how much waste is being brought for recycling.
As well as paying the admission charge, it will cost €5 to recycle a can of paint from 0 to 20 litres at Holmstown, the money being used to offset the losses incurred by the council's waste services.
Mr Ryan said he was surprised when he brought recyclable material to Holmestown last week to be told that councillors had voted to introduce the charges from June 13, a week after the new charges were announced in council advertisements in local papers.
'There has been no consultation with those who like myself use Holmestown regularly,' said Mr Ryan.
'I have no problem with charging for refuse under the polluter pays principle. I fear that the polluter pays principle is being used to charge ordinary people who want to recycle.
'(But) people who recycle don't see themselves as polluters, quite the opposite. An amenity centre is where citizens are encourage to recycle. The material can be sold on by the council and revenue earned,' he said.
'I pay for my refuse service but also use Holmestown. Why should I continue to use the civic amenity centre if a list of itemised prices now seems to be on the way?'
'People will pour paint down the drain rather than do the right thing environmentally,' he said.
'These charges are wrong on so many levels. It is confusing that while light bulbs are to be charged, white goods are free because of the WEE charge.
'Charging people to recycle books that are destined for a charity is wrong. No other council in the region does that. Charging people to recycle a Christmas tree to mulch which is available to community groups free of charge will see less people recycle their trees and reduce mulch for community groups who want to plant and maintain green areas,' he said.
Mr Ryan said that several years ago, local election candidates were falling over themselves attacking stealth charges.
'Now it seems some of those who were elected are at best asleep at the wheel while people are expected to stump up simply because they want to the right thing by the environment. It's not good enough,' he said.