Mountmellick initiative to tackle dumping

Mountmellick Town Councillors are going to get down and dirty in Smith’s Field next week.

Mountmellick Town Councillors are going to get down and dirty in Smith’s Field next week.

Illegal dumping that has become a problem in the parish owned land is to be tackled as part of Clean Up Laois week, with cllrs leading the way.

“We need to lead by example, and see if we can go down and encourage residents and the parish council to get involved. The council have cleaned up before at enormous expense, we must try and deter dumpers, and prosecute them if possible,” said Cllr Pat Bowe.

Laois County Council will be supplying litter pickers, gloves and bags, and will lorry away the gathered waste. Senior official, Ian McCormack is happy to get stuck in himself for the big clean.

“I think it’s a fantastic idea. I’ll be happy to roll up my sleeves. I spent an hour down there, and spoke to some of the residents. There is a lot of litter down there in the ditches. I have spoken to the Environment section and they agreed to provide the equipment. A good half day will clean that place, if we can get enough volunteers. We can contact the residents associations,” he said.

He urged Kirwan Park residents to call the council’s litter hotline if they see anyone attempting to dump rubbish.

“The people in there are second to none, they will get right on it. There is only pedestrian access, are they dragging it in? I saw a lot of footballs, carpet, bicycles, kid’s toys. I wouldn’t like to have it at the back of my garden,” said Mr McCormack, who praised the spotless Kirwan park estate on the other side of the hedge.

Cllr Rosemary Whelan wants the town to get inspiration from Portarlington’s progress on RTE’s Dirty Old Towns programme.

“We have lots of organisations in this town, like MEG and Tidy Towns. Let’s have one big public meeting, encourage everyone to go. We could allocate different areas to different people, it’s amazing what can be done. Why can’t we have allotments? They are very popular. We need to think outside the box, we need to have pride in our town,” she said.