Friday 24 May 2019

County Council set to pass tough new anti-dumping measures

Bill Browne

New bye-laws set to come into force next year will give Cork County Council officials powers to demand that householders prove their waste is being collected and disposed of legally.

The head of the council's environment directorate, Louis Duffy, told this week's northern area meeting that the regulations were being introduced as part of a nationwide drive to clamp down on illegal dumping. 

Mr Duffy said that a key aspect of the initiative will be the requirement that all householders have in place an arrangement with a licensed collector for the proper disposal of their waste. 

"They must have a contract in place with a recognised waste collector or a formal sharing arrangement with neighbours where they share a contractor between them," said Mr Duffy.

"One way or another, there will be a requirement that people prove they are disposing of their waste properly and in accordance with the Waste Management Act."

Upon request by designated inspectors, householders will have to produce receipts from a waste removal company or a receipt proving they have disposed of their waste at a local authority civic amenity site. 

"Inspectors will have the right call to a house and demand proof of that presented to them. We will not be calling to every house, as we do not have the personnel for that. Instead, we will prioritised particular houses or areas where there is anecdotal evidence of illegal dumping," said Mr Duffy. 

A fixed penalty notice of €75 can be issued to people found to be contravening the new bye-law. Should this not be paid, the Council will have the right to pursue the matter further with provision for a maximum fine of €2,500. 

"In one way, it is like using a sledgehammer of crack a nut, but it is another tool that we can use to assist in cracking down on illegal dumping," said Mr Duffy.

The new-bye laws, which also cover a range of other issues such as the maintenance of waste collection containers, the removal of containers once waste has been collected and the segregation of household and recyclable waste, were given a broad welcome by councillors. 

Cllr Noel McCarthy (FG) summed up sentiments saying there were still many people were still not dumping their waste responsibly. 

"It's not acceptable that people are still dumping their waste by the side of the road, in wooded areas or in other people's bins. It is important that we clamp down on this kind of activity and, where appropriate name and shame these people," he said.