The new rules come into effect in county areas in June, following the introduction of the same bylaws in Cork city last month.
The waste laws, which are based on a national template that is being developed and adopted across the country, state that “on request, all persons must be able to prove compliance with the bylaws.”
Bins must be kept off the street “other than the day before and on the designated day of collection.”
The bylaw also includes stipulations regarding the use of bins, such as banning overflow and insisting that the bins are well maintained.
The new regulations also make it an offence to interfere with the waste collection process, or to add waste to another person’s bin without permission.
Compliance with the new bylaws is to be enforced with fines and/or possible District Court prosecution.
Discussing the new rules regarding bins, Cobh Councillor Diarmaid Ó Cadhla said he was “concerned” by the prospect of people calling to homes requesting proof of how they are disposing of their waste.
“This is a needless intrusion on people’s right to privacy and its logic is a presumption of guilt, that some householders are to be presumed to be guilty of illegally discarding of their waste until they prove otherwise,” he said.
Councillor Marcia Dalton raised similar concerns, saying:
“It is the presumption of guilty until proven innocent instead of innocent until proven guilty, that is my main concern.”
The Independent Councillor said there were also practical concerns.
“In the instance of an elderly parent or neighbour using a son, daughter or next door neighbour’s bin, they wouldn’t be able to show proof required by the bylaws.”
Independent Councillor Timmy Collins disagreed with these comments.
“If people are disposing of their rubbish in the right way, they have nothing to fear from someone coming to the door.”
A public consultation process was carried out last November on the new waste bylaws.
This process resulted in three submissions, none of which had any impact on the stipulations of the then proposed regulations that were passed on Monday.