28 Nov 2021

Revealed: How much Kilkenny County Council has spent on water coolers

The council have been criticised for their spending and use of plastic cups...

Revealed: How much Kilkenny County Council has spent on water coolers

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Kilkenny County Council has spent over €30,000 on water cooler costs since 2014.

Spending on water coolers at all council buildings since then and up until September of this year came to €33,942, a Freedom of Information request has revealed.

There were fourteen areas/buildings in all - with water coolers at the locations “utilising a mix of both mains water and bottled water”.

When asked about the cups and the brand of water used, the council said: “We do not have definitive information relating to the supply of cups.

“A stock of plastic cups are in place at some buildings, cups are included in the contracts at a number of locations. We currently purchase 7oz plastic cups from Bunzl on a contract at County Hall at a cost of €30 + VAT for 2,000 units.”

The Callan Area Office has a €997 expenditure on water coolers since 2014 while the Castlecomer office has a bill of €1,817 with the “Corporate” area/building costing €6,953. Environment cost €2,072, Fire Service €3,442 and General Roads Expenses coming to €238.

Councillor, Malcolm Noonan, said that the practice of using water coolers and plastic cups should be stopped completely across all local authority offices.

He said that the council should install drinking water fonts in all civic offices, connected to mains water supply.

“We should be leading by example. We are educating communities, businesses and schools about the need to reduce plastic waste and we are disposing of thousands of ‘one-trip’ plastic cups every year,” he added.

The Library’s bill was €5,361 with the machinery yard coming to €3,551 and County Hall’s water cooler bill coming to €5,416.
John’s Green expenditure is €498 with the Newrath Area Office’s total since 2014 coming to €776.

Finally, Dunmmore Recycling Centre’s water cooler bill came to €573 with the Area Offices’s total coming to €1,541. 

Cllr Pat Fitzpatrick said: "As a public representative my primary concern in such matters is ensuring that the public purse is not unduly impacted and that any expenditures, on the provision of drinkable water for both staff and the public who use council services, are made in a transparent and cost efficient manner.

"I have made enquiries and I am satisfied that proper procurement practices were followed and that the provision of drinkable water for staff and the public who use council services at locations across Kilkenny is a necessary practice."

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