The High Court has found that Dublin City Council abused its dominant position in the capital's waste market and ruled that the local authority's decision to change the capital's waste collection system is invalid.

Mr Justice Liam McKechnie stated that the private waste collector Panda Recycling could not but come to the view that an earlier review, undertaken by the Council, was prejudged and the outcome predestined.

He told the High Court that if a private company collects waste - then they own it and can determine where that waste goes.

Mr Justice McKenchie said the planned Poolbeg incinerator was ‘not free from uncertainty.’

He said that applicant, Panda Recycling, was ‘entitled to relief’, adding that another private collector, GreenStar, which had undertaken a separate but linked case, ‘will also succeed’ against the Council.

Last October, waste management companies Greenstar and Panda challenged a decision by Dublin City Council to change the collection permit system. This was prompted by a local authority plan to only allow it, or a contractor appointed by it, to collect household waste.

Panda and Greenstar took separate cases against the Council claiming the plan was an abuse of its dominant position and contrary to competition law.

The Council's losing the case raises questions about the local authority’s ability to feed the Poolbeg incinerator as the independent companies have said they are unlikely to ever use it.