Private land is hot spot for dumping

James Sherlock and Mary Dunne , pictured with refuse which was dumped at Deerpark , Portarlington .              Photo: Michael Scully .
A Portarlington landowner was recently ordered to clean up illegal dumping on her land or face a fine of up to €3,000.

A Portarlington landowner was recently ordered to clean up illegal dumping on her land or face a fine of up to €3,000.

Just last week, Mary Dunne removed eight bags of rubbish from one part of her land, which is continually a hot spot for illegal dumping.

“It’s been going on for a few years, but it’s definitely got worse in the last year. It’s all down along the road now, it’s shocking,” Mrs Dunne said.

“We cleaned the road last week and we found eight black bags full of household rubbish in one spot, last year we filled a trailer with bags of rubbish that we had collected, but I’d say we would need a bigger trailer next time.

“The dumping is close to the entrance to the water works for Portarlington, there is room there to pull in off the road and no one would see you.”

James Sherlock, who rents the land from Mrs Dunne is becoming increasingly frustrated with the dumping.

“It’s taking up my time now cleaning it up, I spend one day a week picking up what has been dumped there. Last year, Mrs Dunne was given 12 days to clean up the land or she would be fined up to €3,000, while someone who was caught red-handed only received a €150 fine.”

Mr Sherlock continued: “It’s getting worse. Mrs Dunne pays for her bins, but yet she has to go out and clean up someone else’s mess too.

“Last year we took a full trailer load of bags off it, but I had to pay two lads to help me clean it up. It’s dangerous too, you don’t know what you are going to pick up so it all has to be done with hand pickers, which makes it even slower.”

Mr Sherlock says he has been in touch with the council, but there is nothing they can do.

Local Counillor, Tom Mulhall is calling on the council to erect CCTV in the area, in an attempt to identify some of the people dumping their rubblish there.

“The council need to put CCTV and the fines need to be more severe. This has become a public dump on private land.

“I just got a call this morning about another foal that has been dumped in Emo. Loose litter and dumping is a huge problem in the area.

“The council have told Mrs Dunne that she is responsible for it. She’s cleaning it up on a weekly basis, putting it into black bags and bringing it to a public area where the council pick it up. She’s getting very annoyed about it now and you can’t blame her.”

Cllr Mulhall added: “The field is stock proofed and well fenced.”

Martina Bracken, Environment, said she would look into the issue and committed to looking into the problem dumping.

“We will look into this and see if there is anything the council can do to alleviate the dumping in the area.”

Ms Bracken said she could look into the possibility of installing cameras in the area, but said it was difficult to get suitable ones.

“We’ve put a lot of research into this over the years, it’s difficult to get suitable cameras.”