A DECISION to discontinue recycling services in Bantry, Dunmanway and Ballineen has been described as a false economy.
Cllr Karen Coakley (FG) said the current situation – where people in these areas have no place to deposit their waste recyclables – is ‘unfair.’
The councillor was speaking at a recent meeting of the Western Committee of Cork County Council.
She suggested it is wrong to deny people a service on the grounds of cost, and she predicted: ‘It is going to cost us more in the long-term.’
In the first quarter of 2020, a recycling service adjacent to the Family Resource Centre in Dunmanway closed due to cost and cross-contamination.
The second service to be hit was in Bantry, where a truck would take away recyclable materials from the Harbour View car park.
The third facility to close was yet another recycling point in Ballineen.
Cllr Deirdre Kelly (FF) said the loss of the Dunmanway and Ballineen services has already led to an increase in fly-tipping.
Cllr Danny Collins (Ind) said the loss of the Bantry service is putting householders under serious pressure because there is nowhere for them to responsibly recycle their waste.
Previously, the councillor was informed that the cost to the Council of reinstating the Bantry collection service would be €1,900 per truck.
He said he had spoken to a licensed, local company and they described such a cost as ‘outrageous’ although the company said it could not fill the gap in the market because it did not have a truck to spare.
‘There has been a lot of dumping happening in the area since this facility was taken away in March,’ said Cllr Collins, who also called for the close scrutiny of companies offering a door-to-door waste collection.
‘These people should have a licence to ensure that they are disposing of the refuse in a responsible manner,’ the councillor added.
The director of environmental services, Louis Duffy, said the County Council has not made provision for the three services in the 2021 budget, and that the budget ‘will remain as it is.’
He said he has ‘never yet seen illegal dumping that was purely recycling,’ and added, ‘Bantry has a commercial outlet close by.’
Meanwhile, anyone concerned about bogus collection services have been advised to contact the Council’s litter complaints line.