A SKIBBEREEN-based councillor is calling on Cork County Council to trial new opening hours this summer at the town’s bring site so that both holiday makers and those working during the week can be facilitated.
Cllr Karen Coakley (FG), who also raised this issue in the past, is calling for lunchtime and Saturday opening hours to be introduced.
Speaking to The Southern Star, Cllr Coakley said she was told that this would be reviewed but there has been no change to a date on the opening hours.
‘The opening times of the site are not favourable for anyone working Monday to Friday or for holidaymakers, especially as it closes at lunchtime,’ said Cllr Coakley.
‘Since the pandemic we have seen an increase in domestic tourism and holiday rentals are exceptionally busy and the reality is that holiday makers have nowhere to bring their rubbish when they vacate their property.’
Cllr Coakley highlighted the fact that a lot of holiday homes are vacated on a Saturday and that the opening times need to reflect that.
‘This lack of access is leading to dumping, especially on our country roads. Longer opening hours and Saturday openings are therefore essential,’ she urged. Cllr Coakley added that the site needs to be more accessible for people and there should be more incentives for people to use it.
‘In order to promote recycling and reduce waste on our roadsides and waterways, we must extend the opening hours of our amenity site. We have Tidy Towns and other voluntary groups doing tremendous work to keep our towns tidy, but they are now at breaking point with the increase of illegal dumping.’
Cllr Coakley said she was previously told that the financial cost of extending opening hours was too high.
‘But then we have Council staff out dealing with illegal dumping and this will lead to even higher costs. This is a futile exercise and will cost more long term rather than extending the opening hours.’
She called for the site to be open during lunch-time and Saturdays on a trial basis for the summer months, with a review to be carried out later. As an alternative, she suggested that a mix of weekday and weekends might work better and balance the cost.
At last week’s meeting of the West Cork Municipal District, Council officials said they would refer it the director of environment, Louis Duffy.