Sinn Féin spokesperson on Environment and Climate Action, Darren O’Rourke TD, says the move by Panda Waste to introduce a new charge on brown bin collections is totally counterproductive and a direct consequence of the privatisation of waste collection services.The Meath East TD told Meath Live, “When it comes to incentivising recycling and reducing levels of waste, we are travelling in completely the wrong direction.“Alongside Panda’s recently announced €3.80 charge for brown bin collections, City Bin has also decided to increase its charges.“These price hikes are adding yet another burden to workers and families who are cripplied by a cost of living crisis. Ordinary people shouldn’t be punished for doing the right thing.“It is an outright disincentive and completely conflicts with the circular economy goal of encouraging recycling and brown bin use, decreasing levels of general waste.“This is the obvious result of privatisation and a market-based approach which certainly prioritises profit over any environmental objectives.“And let’s not forget Panda’s parent company Beauparc enjoyed eye-watering windfalls last year, including €52.8 million from the sale of Panda Power.“We know that cost is a barrier. Reducing the financial burden attached to recycling and the use of brown bins is essential, especially when ordinary workers and families are really struggling to make ends meet. People are already having to make really difficult choices about what they can and can’t afford.“This is why Sinn Féin has long called for the remunicipalisation of waste. Given recent developments, it’s high time the government heeded that call.” ENDS