Possible prosecutions for illegal dumping in Cork's Ellis's Yard

Five people could face prosecution for illegal dumping after information was found in rubbish cleared from a vast illegal dump on the northside of Cork city last week.

Possible prosecutions for illegal dumping in Cork's Ellis's Yard

Five people could face prosecution for illegal dumping after information was found in rubbish cleared from a vast illegal dump on the northside of Cork city last week.

An investigation is also underway to establish how their waste found its way onto the illegal dump site, and to identify the unauthorised waste collectors involved.

And new bylaws which will give the city council new powers to demand that householders provide proof of how their waste is being collected and disposed of legally could be adopted within two weeks.

The details emerged at this week's city council meeting during which the city's head of environment, Valerie O'Sullivan, gave an update on the clean-up of Ellis's yard, in Ballyvolane.

Contractors spent just over a week removing some 200-tonnes of rubbish, including five-tonnes of asbestos, from the council-owned yard, next to the Spring Lane Traveller halting site.

Ms O'Sullivan told councillors that council staff sifted through some of the material following its removal from the site.

The Irish Examiner has established that these workers found evidence identifying five individuals with various addresses around the city.

The evidence includes old bills and, in one case, parking tickets, which contained names, addresses or vehicle registration numbers.

As well as tracing those individuals, the council has launched an investigation to establish how their waste found its way to Ellis’s Yard.

"The council is actively searching for both unauthorised collectors and users of this illegal service," a source said.

The council is now considering various legal options, up to and including prosecution.

"It is a criminal offence to give waste to a bogus collector," a spokesman said.

Following a spate of illegal dumping in some housing estates on the northside, the council embarked on several projects in areas of Mayfield and Knocknaheeny, asking householders to explain how they are disposing of their waste.

A source said people are getting frustrated seeing their neighbours dumping and the council has been getting more tip-offs about the illegal dumping activity.

Under the Waste Collection Permit Regulations, 2007, all waste collectors must have a valid waste collection permit or have made a valid waste collection permit application.

It is illegal for householders or industry to give waste to unauthorised collectors.

"If a collector comes to your door or advertises in flyers offering to collect your waste - clean out your garage, remove old washing machines, fridges and garbage - you should ask to see a copy of the front page of their waste collection permit," a council spokesman said.

"The cover of this permit will give you the name, address and waste collection permit number of the collector."

Meanwhile, the new waste management bylaws, governing the storage, segregation and presentation of householder and commercial waste in the city, which were published for public consultation late last year, were adopted at committee level on Monday and will come before full council before the end of the month for adoption.

Under the new regime, people who can not prove how they are disposing of their waste could face fines of up to €2,500.

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