Householders in Cork city have been warned they face more door-to-door bin checks following confirmation that 36 cases are being investigated for alleged breaches of new waste bye-laws following a blitz across the northside.
The warning came as city officials revealed that almost 300 homes were inspected in four specific suburban areas as part of an intensive spot-check operation following the introduction earlier this year of new laws governing how and when domestic waste bins should be presented for collection.
All the areas are on the northside of the city - in Knocknaheeny, Mayfield and Blackpool.
The figures emerged in response to a written question from Fine Gael Cllr Joe Kavanagh, who last January said illegal dumping had reached epidemic proportions in some estates on the northside.
Mr Kavanagh asked for an update on the door-to-door spot checks since the bin bye-laws came into effect on May 1.
The council’s director of operations, Valerie O’Sullivan, said the council’s environment section identified a number of locations where illegal dumping was a problem, and where people had complained about the dumping.
Letters were first sent to households in Glenamoy Lawn in Mayfield, Killala Gardens in Knocknaheeny, and Sunday School Lane and Orchard Court in Blackpool, outlining the new bin bye-laws, the responsibilities on householders and the sanctions.
Ms O’Sullivan said staff from the council’s environment and housing departments then followed up with house calls to the properties that did not respond to the letters.
They inspected 273 properties in total - 120 in Glenamoy Lawn, 100 in Killala Gardens, 34 in Orchard Court and 19 in Sunday School Lane.
As a result of those door-to-door inspections, 36 cases are now under investigation for alleged breaches of the bye-laws.
“Overall the response from the residents has been positive,” Ms O’Sullivan said.
“A small number of residents in the areas are still under investigation in relation to compliance with the waste presentation bye-laws and a number of investigations have resulted in €75 fixed payment notices being issued.
“The feedback from residents, elected members and housing officers in the areas is that these investigations have resulted in a reduction in the amount of illegally dumped waste in the areas and given the success of these door-to-door service checks, it is envisaged that further checks will be carried out across the city."
“In addition to the above there are also ongoing inspections being carried out on an individual basis where issues relating to illegal dumping are highlighted.” Since the adoption of the new waste bye-laws governing the storage, segregation and presentation of household and commercial waste in the city, people who dispose of their own domestic waste have to provide written proof of the measures they take for its collection or disposal, and those who can’t provide such proof can face fines of up to €2,500.
The local authority also has the power to request customer eircodes from bin companies to identify households that are not signed up for a commercial waste collection service.