Waterford County Council will not increase bin collection charges next year and many customers of private waste operators were now leaving to join the local authority refuse service, a meeting of the Council was told in Dungarvan, this week.

But the Council’s waiver scheme has been reduced by €50 off the flat charge of €150 for everybody. County Manager Ray O’Dwyer said he had the responsibility to balance the budget this year before tackling 2010 and they had to look critically at every aspect of waste collection. The Council’s waste service was the envy of other counties but they were not getting the level of support to break even, not to mention to make a profit. That was putting a strain on the system, he said.

There was an increase in the number of people seeking waivers and the Council had to cut every service and was still finding it difficult to put forward a balanced budget. They had €10m less this year as well as 14% less staff.

County Mayor, Cllr Nora Flynn (FG), said they should promote their services to win more customers. It was an excellent service and it made her very sad to see people were not supporting it. She warned that people would regret it if the Council went out of business.