ISLANDS off the coast of Cork could become the first in the country to get a comprehensive refuse disposal service.
In addition, Cork County Council is to look at further developing infrastructure and services on these islands to make them more attractive to tourists.
Cllr Danny Crowley, who is based in Beara, said he was pleased to discover the local authority was preparing a waste management plan for the inhabited islands in west Cork.
They include Bere, Sherkin, Whiddy, Heir, Dursey, Long and Cape Clear.
He had asked council officials to look at the issue and was told by county manager, Martin Riordan, a comprehensive report was being prepared to examine waste management options for the seven islands.
Mr Riordan said a draft report would be made available to members of the council’s western division in September.
The manager said island communities were distinctive and he regarded them as very important in Cork’s brand imaging.
The council has already prepared a plan to boost tourism in the region, concentrating on improving marine leisure facilities.
Mr Riordan said officials would be looking at how they could develop the islands to benefit from this programme.
“It will be very useful to stitch our marine and leisure strategy into the overall programme for the islands,” Mr Riordan said.
He added that council officials had already been involved in discussions with representatives from the islands in terms of future progress.
Also, Mr Riordan indicated island communities had made large submissions to the County Development Plan, listing some of the hopes and wishes for the years ahead.
Cllr Crowley said he hoped if the waste management service was introduced, the islands off the Cork coast would become the cleanest in Europe, which could only be good for generating tourism revenue.
“The communities in the islands need as much support from this council as we can give them,” said Cllr Alan Coleman.
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