On the distribution of an unaccredited leaflet (inset) inviting people to set aside old goods, Cllr Neale Richmond (FG) said: “People have raised concerns with me that ... we could easily see the unwanted [electrical] goods illegally dumped”

THE legitimacy of leaflets delivered to houses in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown looking for disused electrical equipment has been questioned by a local councillor, following concerns expressed by residents.
Cllr Neale Richmond (FG) has called on the county manager, Owen Keegan, to look into the collection agencies offering to take away electrical household appliances, free of charge.
He said: “A number of homes in the Glencullen-Sandyford ward and the wider Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown and South Dublin areas have received fairly opaque leaflets from a person or persons offering to collect ‘any item with a plug, battery, peddles or engine’.
“I have put questions to the county manager to see if there are any bye-laws, licensing rules or guidelines in place for persons offering to collect electrical goods free of charge.
“Although the leaflets state that ‘anything that cannot be re-used will be brought to a recycling centre to be disposed of properly’, a number of people have raised legitimate concerns with me that, without proper regulation or monitoring, we could easily see the unwanted goods illegally dumped.”
However, a spokesperson for the council said that there are no bye-laws governing the distribution of leaflets.
The council spokesperson went on to say: “Where leaflets are being used to disseminate information about a waste (electrical and/or electronic equipment, or otherwise) collection service, it would be of interest to us, as we would need to verify that the collector is the holder of a valid waste collection permit.
“Periodically, the council is contacted by members of the public who are the recipients of leaflets offering a collection service for any ‘unwanted item’.
“Such items when discarded by their owners can be classified as waste if they are not fit for purpose.
“In such cases, the collector must have a waste collection permit and the householder can be prosecuted for handing over their waste to an unauthorised waste collector.”
Cllr Richmond is urging local people to use caution in relation to such organisations.
He said: “We have previously seen from the many so-called charity clothes collection agencies that there is a major grey area when it comes to these practices, and often there are connections to criminal gangs or illegal activities.
“In the meantime, people should be aware that the council does run regular free WEEE [waste electrical goods recycling] days across the county, and a number of legitimate charities with valid charity numbers, such as the Irish Cancer Society, do collect clothes [for legitimate purposes].”