Council to target stockpiling of bonfire material

By Aideen O'Flaherty

THE removal of stockpiled bonfire material is expected to begin this month, according to South Dublin County Council’s recently released plans for Halloween 2020 in the county.

The local authority will take a cross-department approach using the services of Public Realm, Waste Enforcement, Environmental Awareness, Library Service, Housing and Community Services Departments to prevent damage and promote the ‘Safe Halloween’ initiative.

SDCC bonfire 1

The stockpiling of bonfire material will be collected by the council who will liaise with Gardai

Explaining some of the aspects of their planned action during Halloween 2020, a council spokesperson told The Echo that there will be “various awareness measures to highlight the dangers associated with bonfires and the harm done to the environment.

“[There will be] action by the council’s Environmental Licensing and Enforcement Section to deal with commercial premises and their obligations to properly store their waste including aerial surveys.

“The Public Realm response to remove stockpiles of bonfire materials will commence as soon as necessary, most likely in September.”

The local authority will liaise with gardai in relation to the removal of bonfire material, and also residents in order to identify the locations of stockpiled material.

In a bid to protect greenspace in the county, the council will be implementing their ‘Bulbs Not Bonfires’ scheme, where residents who’ve prevented damage to their public open spaces during the Halloween season are rewarded with daffodil bulbs to be planted in the undamaged space.

The social credits scheme will once again facilitate groups, who are registered on the scheme, with the disposal of materials at the council’s civic amenity site in Ballymount, as the council states this will help to reduce the amount of materials being handed over for bonfires.

Fianna Fáil councillor Charlie O’Connor, who has regularly voiced his concerns about damage to open spaces in the county over previous Halloween seasons, told The Echo: “Preparations for dealing with Halloween have been affected by the pandemic, but it’s important that we understand that Halloween will be a challenge.

“Year in, year out, greenspaces have been damaged by Halloween activity over the years.

“We need to ensure that everything possible is done to protect our open spaces and residents.

“Despite the difficult situation we’re in, Halloween still presents a challenge.”

South Dublin County Council removed over 230 tonnes of waste in the ten days leading up to Halloween 2019, and they spent over €102,000 during the course of last Halloween clearing away waste and repairing damaged greenspaces.

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