OLD BICYCLES, bags of rubbish and the leftovers of a Holy Communion cake have all been dumped in a Newcastle West river in the past week, as the expensive battle to tackle illegal dumping shows no sign of ending.
Cllr Damien Riedy believes that the River Daar, which runs past a number of housing estates and an industrial complex on the outskirts of the town, has been “poisoned” by illegal dumpers.
The discovery of the latest waste to be dumped in the river comes just weeks after the publication of a report by Limerick County Council, which states that it spent €800,000 cleaning up litter and dumping in 2012.
Cllr Riedy said that “we have a serious problem with dumping in Newcastle West”, and that the River Daar has become a particular black spot. As well as eight bikes, over a dozen bags or rubbish, sheets of plywood and a cake, Cllr Riedy said that there were recently reports that an animal carcass was dumped in the river, which “had to be pulled out by local residents”.
At a Newcastle West local area meeting this Wednesday the problem of recycling bring banks being targeted by dumpers in the town was described as “a major problem” that has to be addressed. A deputation from the Newcastle West Community Council, led by chairman Michael Finucane, called for the opening of a new recycling bank to serve the south of the town, possibly in the Tesco car park. The town’s existing recycling centre, Mr Finucane said, has become “an unofficial dumping site”.
Cllr Michael Collins said that a new bottle bank is necessary, but the bigger problem is that people’s attitudes to dumping needs to change. “Locals don’t want them, because they bring rubbish. The town does warrant another one, but where do we put it?”
Cllr Francis Foley said that more frequent emptying of recycling banks could prevent dumping, as often someone leaving a box of recyclables next to a full bin leads to more serious dumping. “One person drops a box, the rest see it and think ‘I might as well too’”.
Cllr Liam Galvin said that a bottle bank in the Tesco car park in Abbeyfeale is largely free of dumping as it is “in wide view”. He agreed that regular emptying of recycling bins was needed.