LESS people are using the Council’s dumping sites, a Council meeting heard recently.
Councillors also expressed concern about reduced opening hours, as well as the reductions in staff numbers at the region’s ‘civic amenity’ sites (CAS).
At a recent meeting of the Western Committee in Clonakilty, it was revealed in a Council report that reduced opening hours at both sites in Derryconnell and Castletownbere have led to 2,000 fewer visitors in 2015.
Cllr Michael Collins (Ind) said the issue of staffing and opening hours at the Council-run CAS sites was a ‘hobby horse’ of his, especially in relation to Castletownbere and Derryconnell.
‘There was a drop of 1,000 visitors using the Derryconnell site last year and the question needs to be asked – where are they going and where is the rubbish going?’ asked Cllr Collins.
Cllr Collins said maybe a change of mindset was needed to revert this trend.
‘We are again facing the summer with closed gates and when the sites are opened the benchmark figure for dealing with customers per hour will be further complicated by the whole new regime of charging for recyclables,’ said Cllr Collins.
Cllr Christoper O’Sullivan said that the reduction in staff numbers at the Clonakilty site is also affecting usage of the local site.
‘My interpretation is that the decline in numbers using the Clonakilty facility is due to the change in staffing,’ he said.
‘It is a great civic amenity site but people are spending more time there as there’s less staff and that might explain the drop in usage. If you put on extra staff, then that might change,’ said Cllr O’Sullivan.
Cllr Paul Hayes (SF) said the reduction of staff at the Clonakilty site has seen cars backed out the gate as the reduced team of staff tries to assist everyone.
Sharon Corcoran, director of environment services with the Council, said they were aware Clonakilty was down one staff member but she said the reduction in staff was done across all sites.
‘The numbers using our sites are down in some places, but we still feel that people are coming less often but with greater volumes of waste,’ said Sharon Corcoran.
She agreed that the Council would look again at the staffing issue in the Clonakilty site on Saturdays and that the Council would also look at the reduction in opening hours across all CAS sites.