'Bin police' will have power to demand waste collection receipts

'Bin police' will have power to demand waste collection receipts

So-called ‘bin police’ will have the power to call to homes and businesses in Cork city and demand waste collection receipts following the adoption of new bye-laws.

People who dispose of their own domestic waste will have to provide written proof of the measures they take for its collection or disposal, and those who can’t provide such proof could face fines of up to €2,500.

The local authority will also be able to request customer eircodes from bin companies to identify households that are not signed up for a commercial waste collection service as they try to crack down on illegal dumping.

It follows the adoption by city councillors on Monday of a raft of new bye-laws governing the storage, segregation and presentation of household and commercial waste in the council’s administrative area.

The laws, which were published in draft form late last year for public consultation, are now set to come into effect on May 1.

FF Cllr Ken O'Flynn, chair of the council's environment strategic policy committee, welcomed the adoption of the bye-laws which he said were drafted following lengthy consultation.

The proposals govern how and when bins or other waste containers should be presented for collection on designated waste collection days in the city and suburbs.

In the city centre, it will be prohibited to present waste for kerbside collection before 3am on the designated waste collection day. The bins must be returned to storage by 2pm on collection day.

Outside the city centre, it will be prohibited to present bins for collection before 6pm the day before bin collection day, while the bins must be removed from the kerb or roadside no later than 7pm on the day of collection.

Householders not availing of a kerbside collection must retain receipts for no less than a year to provide proof that any waste removed from their premises has been managed in a manner that conforms to the bye-laws.

The city council’s head of environment, Valerie O’Sullivan, said officials have already been calling to homes in parts of the city blighted by illegal dumping to advise householders of their responsibilities.

She said the new laws will further help the local authority tackle fly-tipping and other forms of illegal dumping.

“These new bye-laws are not a stick to beat residents with. We will adopt a common-sense approach to enforcement in cases where that is required,” she said.

New postering protocols have also been adopted which prohibit posters and notices on St Patrick’s St, those promoting commercial events, or those which have the potential to cause reputational damage to individuals, organisations or the city.

Applications from registered charities to erect posters promoting events with an entry fee will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

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