A recent post on The Southern Star’s Facebook page about fly-tipping around West Cork drew a strong response, including one from a local councillor who said it was high time that those destroying our environment were identified, writes Jackie Keogh
A LITTER lout who threw household refuse on the side of the N71 should be identified, prosecuted and jailed, according to a Fianna Fáil councillor.
Cllr Joe Carroll made the comment after viewing a Facebook post by The Southern Star on Saturday, September 30th.
It showed an assortment of household refuse that was dumped at the turnoff for the L8267 on the N71 between Skibbereen and Leap.
The Facebook post – which has been viewed by around 14,000 people – has not only drawn adverse comments from people living in the locality, but internationally too.
Cllr Carroll said: ‘It is truly shocking to see the blatant disregard that people have for our public highways and our litter laws.
‘Clearly, the trend of flouting our litter laws had reached a new low because offenders would normally search out a quiet spot to commit a crime like this.
‘But this rubbish was just thrown on the side of the main road. You’d wonder if it was a motorist and if he, or she, even bothered to slow down when they dumped their waste on the roadway.’
Cllr Carroll said he felt compelled to raise the issue because he has been calling for an upgrade of Skibbereen’s Bring Site for the last three years.
‘It is nothing short of a scandal that a town the size of Skibbereen – which also caters for a large number of holiday homes visitors and daytrippers – is without a facility where you can legally dispose of a bag of household refuse.’
The existing Bring Site at Marsh Road is primarily used by locals for recycling purposes only, but Cllr Carroll said an approved upgrade of the facility and the ability to legally dispose of household waste should put an end to the fly-tipping.
Cllr Carroll said the proposal to upgrade the facility – and provide the means for the disposal of domestic refuse – was approved by the members of the Western Committee of Cork County Council in June.
He said the public consultation process has been finalised and the project has gone out to tender.
Cllr Carroll said he believes the work will be completed by the Spring of 2018 and that ‘fly-tipping in the greater Skibbereen area will become a thing of the past.’
In the meantime, he said: ‘It is regretful that so many people have been given such a poor impression of our countryside.
‘This kind of behaviour should not be tolerated,’ he added. ‘People really should have more respect for their environment.’
An indication of the level of annoyance that this act of indiscriminate dumping has caused can be seen in the sentiments of one man who commented online saying: ‘That photo tells me the litter was dumped by low class scumbags. It’s the very worst image visitors would expect to see in the beautiful green landscapes of Ireland.’
Cork County Council, when contacted for a comment, said it responds to all reported cases of fly tipping.
‘Reported incidents are assigned to waste enforcement staff and litter wardens. The Council also operates a fleet of fly tipping trucks and arranges clear ups on public roads.’