ILLEGAL dumping in West Cork’s towns and villages is at unprecedented levels, and Council bins are also overflowing with household waste.
The problem of post-Christmas littering in the area was highlighted at this week’s meeting of the West Cork Municipal District.
Schull-based engineer Sarah Sinnott said in her area the ‘mountain of rubbish is phenomenal’.
‘We had staff working all Christmas week in Schull because the bins were overflowing – not with paper wrappers, which is what the bins were designed for – but with household waste.’
Cllr Mary Hegarty (FG) said the increased level of dumping wasn’t confined to quiet back roads, it could be seen on the streets and near public wastepaper bins, too.
She told Council officials that lots of people had been ringing her to complain about ‘the amount of rubbish being dumped illegally in different places.
‘Why can’t people recycle properly?’ she asked. ‘We are destroying the planet.’
Cllr Danny Collins (Ind) said Bantry was bad too. He told his colleagues that he had to move his own bin to the back of his Boston Bar because so many people were using it for household waste.
With beach clean-up operations taking place all over Christmas, Sarah Sinnott said, there was, on one hand, something positive happening over the holiday season – all of which resulted in huge amounts of rubbish being removed from the coastline.
However, she said the cost of collecting illegally dumped rubbish from towns and villages had eaten into the Council’s resources, including the cost of using large machines to transport the waste to the recycling centre at Derryconnell.
Although he had raised the issue many times before, Cllr Collins renewed his appeal to have the recycling centre and amenity sites opened on Mondays and Tuesdays.
‘Anyone can see that is why the rubbish is landing on our doorsteps. People have nowhere to dispose of it legally. But the powers that be don’t want to know.’
The demand for the service could be seen when most of the recycling centres – including the Skibbereen Bring Site - opened for business on Wednesday, January 2nd.
Most reported having huge tailbacks as responsible citizens waited patiently to recycle their paper, cardboard, batteries, bottles and cans.
At the West Cork Municipal District meeting it was confirmed that all of the recycling centres – including the Bring Site at Skibbereen – are taking Christmas trees. And Cllr Collins asked that a collection point be designated for Bantry.