MORE than half of all households in County Limerick still do not have a regular bin collection service, despite the introduction of new bye laws and the threat of on-the-spot fines.
Limerick County Council has warned that it will be carrying out inspections to identify the who is in breach of new bye laws, in force since January 9, which require households and businesses to prove that they dispose of their waste legally.
The council estimates that at present 25,389 homes – 52 per cent of all those in County Limerick – do not have a bin collection. Under the bye laws, which were unanimously backed by county councillors last year, households face fines of €60 each if they do not use a bin service.
Mary Killeen Fitzgerald, administrative officer with the county council environment department, said that the new bye laws “are aimed at maintaining and improving our environment by preventing waste”. She added that throughout 2012, the council’s litter management unit will be carrying out checks to see who is in breach of the regulations.
The bye laws, which were ratified following a long consultation process, have placed new rules on waste collection in a bid to clamp down on illegal dumping.
The laws require that any home or business within 200 metres of a bin collection route must sign up for the service, or face a fine. If a person is sharing bins with someone else, both parties have to sign a bin sharing declaration form and produce it to inspectors if requested.
The bye laws also require that where a three-bin service is provided, recyclables must be separated into dry and wet material.
Cathaoirleach Cllr Mary Harty said that it is currently costing the tax payer more than €1.5 million a year to clean up illegally dumped rubbish in Limerick. She said that the bye laws will help County Hall find out who does not have a bin service, and therefore make it easier to identify dumpers.
“The elected members of Limerick County Council, who unanimously approved these bye laws, anticipate that the legislation will result in significant savings, as it currently costs in excess of €1.5m per annum to deal with. This is money that could be put to much better use in other areas”.
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