Environmental Protection Agency under pressure to tackle illegal dumping in Cork city

The Environmental Protection Agency is coming under pressure to tackle long-standing issues with illegal dumping on the northside of Cork city.

Environmental Protection Agency under pressure to tackle illegal dumping in Cork city

The Environmental Protection Agency is coming under pressure to tackle long-standing issues with illegal dumping on the northside of Cork city.

A number of locations around the city have been particularly badly affected.

A huge volume of household waste has accumulated at Spring Lane and the adjacent Ellis's Yard in Blackpool, while discarded bin bags of overflowing waste and even an abandoned, burnt-out car have been left near Boyce's Street.

Similar dumping issues are evident elsewhere throughout the historic Blackpool and Shandon areas of Cork city.

Local councillor Kenneth O'Flynn has previously reported issues in the area to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

He made formal contact with the environmental watchdog last summer regarding Spring Lane and Ellis's Yard but said that he is dissatisfied with the response to date.

In addition to posing a health and safety risk to nearby residents, the rubbish pile at Ellis's Yard has frequently been the site of fires, he added.

"There were 90 fire brigade call-outs to the site in 2018," Mr O'Flynn said.

"Since New Year's Eve, there has been another three, often warranting two or three units per call.

This is a huge waste of time and resources. We have had signage and CCTV damaged and I am not at all happy with this as an ongoing situation. It is high time that these problems were finally sorted once and for all.

The concerns raised by Mr O'Flynn reflect those outlined in the Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) Anti-Litter League.

The report labelled the northside of Cork city as 'littered', ranking it 38th out of the 40 areas surveyed.

It described the north ring road as 'almost landfill-like' in places and stated that 'long-term littered sites that have been repeatedly highlighted in previous surveys are not being dealt with'.

File image of illegal dumping in Cork.
File image of illegal dumping in Cork.

Cork City Council previously spent more than €500,000 on large-scale clean-ups at Ellis's Yard between 2003 and 2014, with several other initiatives, including CCTV and new signage, employed since.

Valerie O'Sullivan, the head of environment at Cork City Hall, said that members of the public need to play their part in solving the dumping problem.

This is a behavioural issue by certain members of the public who choose to illegally dump waste, choose to deface the public realm, choose to be a burden on public funding and possibly to cause risk to public health.

"Behind every incident is a person who decided to engage in this behaviour," she said.

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