Social media campaign prompts probe into  property firms' waste failures

Submissions from tenants part of formal complaint made to Cork City Council
Social media campaign prompts probe into  property firms' waste failures

Removing bins because of contamination (of recycling bins) is not permissable under Cork City Council laws.

A social media campaign has led Cork City Council to investigate two managed property companies in the city about inadequate waste management and recycling facilities. 

Cork Zero Waste, a recently-launched awareness campaign, collected submissions from tenants across the city before submitting a formal complaint to the council. 

The campaign group said the lack of recycling and composting facilities at three locations managed by two companies, Absolute Properties, and Powell Properties, has been an ongoing issue. 

Residents at Lios Na Greine/Sunview Court on South Douglas Rd have been without recycling facilities and reliant on one compost bin for a number of months. 

Tenants of The Oaks at Maryborough Ridge have also been without recycling facilities. 

Contamination

Absolute Properties met numerous individual complaints with the same response that contamination of recycling bins with regular waste resulted in their removal. 

Residents of Langford Hall on Douglas St, managed by Powell Properties, have been without recycling or composting facilities and were also given contamination as a response. 

In the complaint submitted to Cork City Council, seen by the Irish Examiner, the campaign group highlighted the lack of response from both management companies to date. 

"We appreciate we are currently living in challenging times, however, the feedback we received from the public is that this lack of facilities has been an ongoing issue.

"Many of your residents said they were told, due to contamination of the recycling bins, (eg incorrect waste being put into the bin), they were removed.

"This is not the solution, nor is it permissible under Cork City Council bylaws.

"If these property companies have an issue with contamination of recycling or compost bins, it should contact tenants and inform them of this issue and seek to educate the tenants," the complaint said. 

The council's response to the campaign group said "it is recognised that some property management companies are failing in some instances to fulfil their duties with regards to waste management" and that this issue is present "most commonly at multi-unit dwellings".

"Cork City Council is working systematically to tackle this issue and to this end, we have been working with both property management companies, waste collectors as well as other landlords and property owners to ensure compliance is achieved," the statement said. 

Greater enforcement of bylaws

The group is also campaigning for greater enforcement of existing bylaws surrounding the segregation and disposal of wastes in managed properties. 

According to Cork City Council, no managed property company in Cork City has been issued a fine since the introduction of the Cork City Council Segregation, Storage and Presentation of Household and Commercial Waste Bye-Laws 2019. 

The council said all properties have been brought into compliance since the introduction of the bye-laws after investigations on the foot of complaints. 

In response to the complaint against Absolute Property and Powell Property, the council said the environment department is conducting an investigation into both companies. 

"Cork City Council is following up on a recent complaint received and have contacted the relevant property management companies on this.

"Given the recent nature of the complaint, investigations/enforcement is ongoing," the statement said. 

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