€9,828 spent removing illegal rubbish beside halting site

By Aideen O'Flaherty

NEARLY €10,000 has been spent by South Dublin County Council, so far this year, on the removal of illegally dumped waste beside the Cherryfield halting site.

Over the entirety of 2019, the council spent €9,717 on removing waste from the aforementioned site, however so far this year the council has spent €9,828 on the removal of illegally dumped rubbish at the same site.

Ballyboden Halting Site06 compressor

Illegal dumping beside Cherryfield halting site has cost the council €9,828 already this year

“I was regularly getting calls in relation to the illegal dumping,” explained Fianna Fáil councillor for Firhouse-Bohernabreena, Deirdre O’Donovan, “and a lot of it was from people who are spending more time at home now and  are going out for walks in Dodder Valley Park, and weren’t aware of how serious the issue had become.

“It’s not just about people who are out for walks, it’s really unpleasant for the people who live there too.

“Hopefully we’ll get it sorted and people can enjoy their walks without being confronted by illegal dumping.”

Shortly after the emergency measures for tackling the coronavirus were implemented, the local authority began providing a skip at the halting site on a weekly basis for residents to dispose of their rubbish.

While the cost of the skip service is currently being covered by the council, there are plans that when the emergency ends residents will then bear the cost of the service, as many waste collection services won’t collect waste from halting sites due to previous issues with anti-social behaviour.

“It has improved enormously since the skip has been provided, and we’re all delighted to see that,” added Cllr O’Donovan.

When asked about the council footing the bill for the service, Cllr O’Donovan commented: “It’s very frustrating for local residents who have to pay for their waste disposal, but from the council’s point of view if they don’t clean up the dumped waste then there’s a health and safety issue.”

The issue was raised by Cllr O’Donovan at a recent meeting of the Rathfarnham, Templeogue, Firhouse and Bohernabreena Area Committee, where the council provided the aforementioned figures for the removal of the illegally dumped waste.

The local authority added that the Traveller Accommodation Unit (TAU) provides a daily caretaking service internally to the site, and the figure for the removal of waste from the site adjacent to the halting site in 2018 was nil, but this spend has increased substantially in the two years that followed.

Looking ahead to how waste services will be managed at the halting site in the future, the council stated: “The council has also commenced a procurement framework for the engagement of a waste collection provider to provide a weekly refuse collection service for Traveller Accommodation Sites in South Dublin County. 

“This cost will be incorporated into the weekly charges paid for residents.”

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