City Hall is working on a long-term strategy to eliminate the scourge of illegal dumping on a vast site on the northside of Cork city.
The news came yesterday following confirmation that funding for a massive clean-up of the city council-owned Ellis’s Yard site in Ballyvolane has been secured.
Councillors were told on Monday that it is hoped the work will start within weeks, and will include the repair of security fencing around the site and the installation of CCTV cameras.
The site, next to the Spring Lane halting site, has been plagued by repeated incidents of illegal dumping over the years, with Cork City Council spending more than €500,000 between 2003 and 2014 on large-scale clean-ups of the site.
Last July, the Irish Examiner used drone footage to revealed the scale of the latest dumping problem, with household rubbish, furniture, white goods, scrap metal and wire, dumped there.
Cork City Fire Brigade was called to deal with rubbish fires on the site 90 times last year, and three times already this year.
The problem has been flagged with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) which requested a full report from the council on what it proposed to do.
Yesterday, a spokesperson for the council said they had to seek external financial assistance for the clean-up and the delay in mounting the operation was due to the funding application process.
Funding for the clean-up has been secured through the Waste Enforcement Regional Lead Authorities (WERLA) and funding has also been secured for a CCTV system at the site.
In the meantime, it is understood that plans for the site have been prepared by an outside body which is in talks with the city council on possible future uses.
The plans are funding dependent and funding applications are being prepared.
A spokesperson said if the strategy gets council support, it should permanently remove the site as a target for illegal dumping.
Penalties for serious dumping offences provided for under the Waste Management Acts are substantial.
Anyone found responsible for, or involved in, the unauthorised disposal of waste is liable to a maximum fine of €5,000 on summary conviction and, or imprisonment for up to 12 months, and to a maximum fine of €15m on conviction and, or imprisonment for up to 10 years.