A row has broken out over the number of bins in two of East Cork's largest towns.
A meeting of the East Cork Municipal District Council, held in Midleton, heard Sinn Féin councillor Danielle Twomey say the number of bins in Midleton simply wasn't enough and she sought comparisons with the other main town in the area – Youghal.
A report given to her by municipal district officer Joe McCarthy showed there was a significant difference.
“In Youghal, they have double the bins and half the staff (to empty them) than we have in Midleton. We need to maintain an equal level of service here,” Ms Twomey said.
Mr McCarthy claimed this was because Youghal was a far more elongated town and as such was more spaced out. Therefore, it needed more bins.
“Pretty much every councillor gets hassle over this (in Midleton) because we don't have enough bins,” Ms Twomey said.
Fine Gael councillor Susan McCarthy, who is also based in Midleton, supported her views.
She maintained that previous comments by officials about bins being used in Midleton by people to dump domestic waste “was not a big issue”.
“It's dog fouling waste and takeaway waste that's in them. You can't carry a bag of dog pooh for miles and miles. We do need more bins in the town,” Ms McCarthy said.
Green Party councillor Liam Quaide maintained any modern country should have public bins with recycling receptacles as well, while Fianna Fáil councillor Anne Marie Ahern said she recently walked in Midleton and the level of dog fouling “was disgusting.”
Despite the councillors' protests, officials wouldn't budge, though. Mr McCarthy told the meeting there should be no more bins provided in Midleton in his view.
“I'd hate the impression to go out there that Midleton doesn't have enough bins, because it does. There are no dog fouling bins in Midleton because people can use the ordinary bins for that as well,” Mr McCarthy said.
Ms Twomey agreed with him that people need to be more responsible about where they dump their rubbish, “but we still need more bins,” she added.
County Mayor Mary Linehan-Foley, who is based in Youghal, added that no town can ever have enough bins.
“The big issue in Youghal is dog fouling. There are free pooper-scoopers, but people are still leaving it on the footpath. We need to highlight the dangers of this and to educate the young,” she said.
Fine Gael councillor Michael Hegarty said during Covid-19 lockdown many people cleaned out their attics and there was a huge amount of indiscriminate dumping on rural roads.
Mr McCarthy agreed that more enforcement on illegal dumping was needed. He pointed out that “the cleanest settlement we have in this district has no bins” which is in Castlemartyr.