Councillors in Dunmanway reacted with anger when they were told that one-third of the West Cork Municipal District’s annual budget would be required to reinstate the town’s recycling services.
‘If my maths are correct,’ Cllr Declan Hurley (Ind) said: ‘The Council’s director of environment has told us that funds – amounting to between €85,000 and €135,000 of our Municipal District’s annual budget – would be needed to restore the cardboard and plastic recycling collection facility that was shut down in Dunmanway six months ago.’
Cllr Deirdre Kelly (FF), who is also based in Dunmanway, expressed her annoyance at the Council’s failure to tackle the issue, or to give a clear indication if the service is going to be restored or not.
The mood at the Western Committee meeting – which deals with housing and environmental issues in both the West Cork and Bandon Kinsale districts – was heated, especially when Cllr Danny Collins (Ind) joined the debate about a similar problem in Bantry.
A twice-weekly collection of recyclables from the Harbour View car park in Bantry ended about six months ago and the director of services told Cllr Collins at the meeting in County Hall on Monday that the cost of restoring the service could be of the order of €1,900 a week.
In the case of Dunmanway, the director said it would need to move from an unsupervised to a supervised service at a staff cost of approximately €35,000 per annum.
He also said it would cost between €50,000 and €100,000 to rearrange the layout of the bring site adjacent to the Dunmanway Family Resource Centre and the Council’s machinery yard at Kilbarry Road.
Cllr Hurley pointed out that the Council has already made considerable investments in providing ‘the very best of recycling facilities in Bandon, Clonakilty, Skibbereen and Macroom’ and that the people of Dunmanway deserved equal treatment.
Although he did acknowledge that Cork County Council’s budget will be considerably less in 2021, Cllr Hurley said it was ‘ludicrous’ to suggest that the cost of reinstating the Dunmanway and Bantry services would have to come out of the West Cork Municipal District’s annual budget, which is in the region of about €300,000 per annum.
Cllr Danny Collins was of the opinion that the prices quoted to, and by the Council, are ‘ridiculous.’ He said: ‘I have resolved to check for myself what local, commercial recycling centres would quote to collect.
‘The people of Bantry need a recycling service, and if the Council says it can’t afford it, then we will have to secure funding from another source,’ he said.