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Recycling facilities are too costly to reinstate in Dunmanway town

April 4th, 2024 7:00 PM

By Southern Star Team

Recycling facilities are too costly to reinstate in Dunmanway town Image
Declan Hurley said Dunmanway householders are losing out ‘because of the actions of a few’ who used the site to dispose of dirty nappies and black bin waste.

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THE reinstatement of full recycling facilities in Dunmanway would cost more than €500,000 and can’t be justified, with four other recycling centres less than 30km away, according to officials in Cork County Council.

The issue was raised in a motion put forward by independent councillor Declan Hurley at a recent meeting of the Council’s Western Division.

In his motion Mr Hurley asked that Cork County Council give an update clearly detailing what plans they have on reinstating the paper, cardboard and plastic recycling service at Dunmanway’s bring centre.

‘Locals in Dunmanway and surrounding areas are demanding to have the service reinstated and I am requesting that the reinstatement of the service is prioritised in the Council’s 2025 budget,’ he said.

Mr Hurley said that since the service was suspended in 2021 he had continued to push for a reinstatement of recycling in Dunmanway and would not let the issue lie.

‘It’s been a long-running saga and I’ve been like a dog chewing a bone on this one. It was the actions of an irresponsible few that led to the discontinuation of this service in Dunmanway, but it makes no sense to take this from everyone because of the actions of a few. I will not give up on this,’ he said.

The motion was seconded by Cllr Danny Collins who said that a similar service had been discontinued in Bantry.

‘We are supposed to be doing our bit for the environment but we are not providing the facilities for people,’ he said.

Cllr Deirdre Kelly said that CCTV could be installed at the Dunmanway site to prevent people misusing the facility

Louis Duffy, director of services at the environment directorate said that cameras would not be sufficient as in the past people were hiding black bag waste in boxes before dumping them in the recycling. He said that the only way it would be viable would be to operate a staffed facility.

In his response to the motion, he stated that Cork County Council previously provided an unsupervised facility in Dunmanway where the public could dispose of cardboard, paper, glass bottles, plastic bottles and cans free of charge.

‘The paper and cardboard bins were experiencing such a level of contamination from nappies and other black bag waste materials that the contractor would only collect the material at black bag waste rates and not recycling rates,’ he said.

He added that the cost of disposing of the paper and cardboard materials was four times the cost for these materials from a manned civic amenity site, but of greater concern was that it could not be recycled.

‘The site was used as a free black bag waste disposal site and not following waste hierarchy or the “polluter pays” principle.’

He said that the 2021 estimated costs to bring the site at Dunmanway up to the level of a manned site like Skibbereen would be in excess of €500,000 in capital expenditure and more than €135,000 in annual running costs.

He added that Dunmanway was already better served than many parts of the county with four existing facilities at Bandon, Clonakilty, Skibbereen and Macroom all within 30km of the town.

‘The environs of Dunmanway in the directions of each of these sites would be even closer. The travel distance would not be any greater than those of many areas of the county and less than many. Not many towns would have four civic amenity sites / bring centres this close to it and if a facility was opened in Dunmanway as well, the additional costs of providing and running the site would also have a negative effect on the incomes at the four nearby sites, attracting business away from them. Consequently, the executive does not support the provision of a cardboard or paper facility in Dunmanway,’ he said.

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