Waste company sues locally based Oxigen for €1m

WASTE COMPANY Greenstar has sued locally-based waste firm, Oxigen, for more than e1 million over failure to complete an alleged agreement for the disposal of 50,000 tonnes of waste this year.

WASTE COMPANY Greenstar has sued locally-based waste firm, Oxigen, for more than e1 million over failure to complete an alleged agreement for the disposal of 50,000 tonnes of waste this year.

Mr Justice Peter Kelly granted an application by Lyndon McCann SC, for Greenstar Ltd, Sandyford, Dublin, to transfer its action against Oxigen Environmental, with offices at Dundalk, Co Louth, to the Commercial Court on Monday.

Greenstar claims, under an alleged agreement of December 24 2009, that Jim Dowdall, on behalf of Oxigen, agreed to dispose of 50,000 tonnes of waste during 2010, at a rate of e55 per tonne, excluding landfill levy and VAT, at landfills owned and operated by Greenstar.

Oxigen began disposing of waste at the Greenstar landfill at Knockharley, Co Meath, on January 12, 2010, said Deirdre Stevenson, of Greenstar, in an affidavit.

On the same date, Mr Dowdall of Oxigen had told her Sen Doyle, a director of Oxigen, would not sign a waste supply agreement provided by Greenstar confirming the December 24 2009, agreement but that Oxigen would still honour the terms of the agreement, she said.

The parties operated afterwards on the basis of the agreement, Ms Stevenson said.

In March 2010, Greenstar expressed concern that Oxigen was going to fall short of the 50,000 tonne commitment but was assured by Oxigen that was not the case, she said.

Oxigen in late March then referred to receiving a reduced quotation for all its waste tonnage and had said Greenstar would have to match that rate, but she had indicated Greenstar would not do so.

Oxigen later told her it intended to avail of the reduced e45 per tonne offer and, on April 7 2010, Oxigen made its last waste disposal at Greenstar's Knockharley site, she said.

Ms Stevenson said further meetings were held over the next few months between Greenstar and Oxigen about the latter's contractual commitments, while numerous phone messages were left with Aidan Doyle of Oxigen, to which no reply was received.

Ms Stevenson said she eventually met Mr Doyle on October 21 last, when she again called upon him to honour the agreement. Geoff Bailey, also of Greenstar, warned it would seek to enforce the agreement.

Mr Doyle had said he hoped Greenstar would not go down that route but, if it did, Oxigen would ensure its sales team targeted customers of Greenstar, she said.

A solicitor's letter sent to Oxigen in late October called for the agreement to be honoured, but solicitors for Oxigen responded that there was never an agreement for Oxigen to supply 50,000 tonnes in 2010 and no binding agreement at e55 per tonne, Ms Stevenson said.

Owing to the shortfall of tonnage, Greenstar had suffered lost revenue of e2.43 million, she said. Although it had tried to minimise its losses by sourcing waste material from other firms, it had still suffered revenue losses of e1.9 million and net losses of e1.08 million.