A CITY centre businessman, who has been dumping commercial packaging on the public street near his premises for the past four years, has been ordered to engage the services of a private waste collection company.
Ahmed Nafes pleaded guilty to a littering offence at Limerick Court after he was prosecuted by Limerick City Council following an incident in July of last year.
Mr Nafes, who operates the ‘Mr Mobiles’ store on Wickham Street admitted that packaging which was found near his premises on July 23, 2012 had been left thereby him.
In his evidence, Litter Warden Thomas Walsh told the court he conducted an inspection in the area on the date after the local authority received a large number of complaints.
He said during the inspection, he found a “large amount of cardboard” dumped on the public street.
He said he examined the rubbish and that evidence on one of the boxes could be linked to the defendant, which resulted in the proceedings being initiated against him.
Mr Nafes, who spoke with broken English, said he had been dumping the rubbish on the street for years and that he believed it was being collected by the local authority. He claimed other businesses in the area were also dumping cardboard on the street.
“All of that is not mine,” he said after photographs were submitted to the court by Mr Walsh.
Answering Judge Eugene O’Kelly, Mr Nafes admitted he had never engaged the services of a private waste collection firm and that he did not know who had removed the rubbish from the street for the past four years.
“His practice was to leave it out on the streets to be collected by whoever,” said solicitor Ger Reidy, representing Limerick City Council.
Mr Reidy said the local authority has received complaints in the past in relation to rubbish in the same area but that until last July they had not been able to identify the culprits.
Judge O’Kelly said the businessman had been “getting away with it” for the last four years and he told Mr Nafes his attitude was “not good enough”.
The judge adjourned sentencing until February 1, telling the defendant he “must arrange some form of waste collection contract” by the next date.
Under Section 3 of the Litter Pollution Act, Mr Nafes is facing a maximum fine of €1,850.
If convicted, he will also have to pay the costs of Limerick City Council associated with the case.