Cork County Council Sells Waste Collection Business to Country Clean Recycling

Cork County Council has sold its waste collection business to Country Clean Recycling, following a competitive process involving a number of waste management companies operating in the private sector.

Falling customer numbers, coupled with rising costs associated with a new EU Landfill Directive on the pre-treatment of waste, and the introduction of a VAT charge of 13.5%, has resulted in Cork County Council being faced with an unsustainable financial position in relation to its waste collection business. In order to combat these challenges, a Waste Management review was undertaken in 2009 which highlighted a Eur1.6 million budget shortfall for 2010.

Following the review, Cork County Council decided to begin investigating all available options in relation to its waste collection business. This included carrying out market research with a view to selling the waste collection business.

The decision to sell its waste collection business will allow Cork County Council to deploy staff and resources in other key service areas throughout the county. As part of the agreement, the Council has secured a continuation of the waiver scheme for a further twelve months.

“Given the significant reduction in our customer base over the past number of years and rising costs associated with our waste collection business, we had no option but to undertake a root and branch review of this part of our operation. Unfortunately, the outcome of the review clearly pointed to an increasingly unsustainable financial situation in our waste collection business, particularly in light of a highly competitive private sector marketplace and additional costs in relation to the EU Directive on VAT and pre-treatment of waste,” explains Declan Daly, deputy county manager, Cork County Council.

Eur10 Million Deal

“This deal is worth up to Eur10 million for Cork County Council over the next 12 months when you factor in the projected losses the service would have incurred in the next fiscal year, losses which have been greatly added to by the introduction of VAT on refuse service since July 2010, says ” Jim Daly, mayor of County Cork.

Denis Murphy, financial controller of Country Clean Recycling, says: “Country Clean Recycling will extend the waiver scheme to twenty four months on the basis of customer loyalty. We will also be implementing an immediate reduction of 10% in waste charges to all non-waiver customers. Furthermore, we will be rolling out additional new services to Council customers.”

According to Cork County Council, the transfer of the business to Country Clean Recycling will not give rise to any disruption. The Council will write to all existing waste collection customers in the coming days to explain how the transfer process to Country Clean Recycling will take place.

Country Clean Recycling is owned by David and Mary O’Regan and has its headquarters at Mallow, County Cork and a branch network in Cork City, Midleton and Carrigaline. David O’Regan entered into the waste management industry in 1990 by setting up a waste collection service in his local area of Shanballymore. Country Clean Recycling has grown steadily, taking over nine other waste collection companies during the period 1991 to 2003. The most recent take-over, in June of 2003, brought the company into the waste skip market, acquiring Cork Mini Skips in Churchfield.

At this time the company developed a Material Recycling Facility (MRF) in Cork City for the recovery of recyclable materials, which are packaged, stored temporarily, and subsequently transported for recycling. Country Clean Recycling currently employs 90 staff over three company locations, and hosts a fleet of 30 waste collection vehicles for serving the Munster area.

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