Council says it stopped paying the waste company this Spring due to contractual differences

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The director of struggling Londonderry waste firm Brickkiln says it was forced into administration after the Council stopped paying for waste disposal services in April of this year.

Tommy McGlinchey told the Sentinel almost three-quarters-of-a-million pounds is owed and that the non-payment has cost 50 jobs and contributed to the on-going waste issues at the Brickkiln site at Maydown.

Mr McGlinchey also says the Council’s decision not to pay means the waste on-site will likely be landfilled by any prospective new owner as there will be no contractual requirement under the terms of sale of the Maydown site to dispose of the on-site waste via energy recovery.

This will negatively affect the new supercouncil’s energy recovery targets, according to Mr McGlinchey.

He said: “They have not paid for the disposal service since April 2015 (the cost is circa £700,000), which forced the company into administration, Derry City and Strabane District Council’s actions caused the Causeway and Mid-Ulster Councils to react, which pushed this figure to over £1m alone, with the loss of over 50 local jobs.”

He added: “Derry City Council will avoid paying the debts owed to Brickkiln Waste as the material can be landfilled and there is no obligation to be sent to an R1 facility ((Energy From Waste) in the sale documents – this means two things will then happen, firstly, the waste does not meet the recovery targets and secondly, the creditors will also lose out as this money won’t be recoverable.”

The Sentinel put these claims to the Council.

A spokesperson said that following the NIEA’s suspension of the company’s waste licence on July 10, Council has been working closely with the Company and more recently the Administrator, the NIEA and other Councils in resolving processing issues at the facility.

“Prior to this cessation of service, Council was forced to suspend payments to the company as Brickkiln had failed to fulfil contractual obligations as set down in contract specification. Where invoices have been received by Council demonstrating that the Company has met their agreed terms, these invoices have been paid in full. Council could not however make payment for services not delivered and had been working directly with the Company to address these matters prior to the Company being placed in administration. The Council is legally obliged to adhere to all legislation in terms of the appropriate management of waste and is committed to working with the Administrator, the NIEA and other Councils to resolve all outstanding matters. Council has initiated a range of measures to ensure full compliance with waste diversion targets and is confident of fulfilling all statutory obligations following the suspension of activities by the NIEA at the Brickkiln site.. Council is unable to comment on any issue relating to the sale of the Company or payments to creditors, this is a matter for the administrator.”