Arson forces cut in Christmas tree recycling sites

Bah humbug — Cork’s city officials have been forced to slash the number of Christmas tree recycling sites after a spate of arson attacks.

City councillors have been told just four recycling points will be set up after next Christmas following a rise in the “levels of abuse” of the facilities last January.

The city council has in recent years provided Christmas tree recycling facilities at several locations in and around the city, with many based next to glass bottle recycling sites.

Such was the success of the scheme, a record number of collection points were set up last January at:

* The civic amenity recycling centre, Kinsale Road;

* The parks depot next to Clashduv Park in Togher;

* Ballinlough Park, next to the Gus Healy Swimming Pool;

* The Skehard Road;

* The green at the junction of Ringmahon Road and Castle Road;

* The Glen Amenity Park Green;

* Montenotte Green;

* Near the Sam Allen Sports Complex on Knockfree Avenue;

* Gurranabraher Green in front of the reservoir on Harbour View Road;

* Knocknaheeny Parks Depot in Fairhill;

* Kennedy Park on Victoria Road;

* Lee Fields at bottle bank on the Carrigrohane Road.

In a report to city councillors this week, officials said problems have been occurring at the sites for several years. Because so many trees were being recycled, access to some bottle banks was being blocked at the busiest time of the year for glass recycling, they said.

The city then had to pay for the replacement of recycling signs, and in some cases, bottle bank facilities.

“The level of abuse of bring sites increased significantly during Jan 2012 with Christmas trees being set on fire repeatedly at a number of bring sites,” the report said. “This resulted in call-outs for the Garda and fire service and Cork City Council had to fund the clean-up of sites and replacement of signs and bottle banks.

“This is a very substantial cost on top of the €7,300 being paid for the recycling of Christmas trees.”

Councillors agreed to accept the report which recommended the tree collection points should only be provided in four supervised locations next January.

This would minimise public expenditure and abuse of bring site facilities, the report said.

The exact locations have yet to be finalised and will be publicised later.


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