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Dumpers should get penalty points – Cllr Gerry Murray

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NOVEL SUGGESTIONCllr Gerry Murray.

Austin Garvin

The continuing problem of indiscriminate dumping was debated at length at the monthly meeting of Claremorris Municipal District held last week.
Mr Liam Rabbitte, Health and Safety Officer, Mayo County Council, addressed the meeting and in addition to giving an update on the situation, took on board feedback from the councillors.
Cllr Gerry Murray, Cathaoirleach of the Municipal District, told the meeting there was a huge clean-up held recently in the Charlestown area. He said there was an unbelievable amount of waste material collected by youth clubs and senior citizens groups.
“This has health implications. One would be astonished with the amount of hazardous waste collected. Someone is going to be killed collecting this waste.
“Can we bring in by-laws to cover this? When a driver is found to be responsible for dumping illegally, could we bring in penalty points for this offence? Animals are eating plastic that gets caught in the small intestines. There is a danger to humans of getting Weal’s disease. It’s a huge problem throughout the area,” he stated.
Mr Rabbitte said that the suggestion of someone getting penalty points when found to be dumping refuse was ‘a brilliant idea’.
He said that he had issued fines to people when found guilty. He touched on data protection at bottle banks, and told the meeting that the Council had hired a company to give them the necessary information.
“We used the by-laws in Castlabar area, maybe we should review the by-laws.” he said.
He gave details of prosecutions that had gone to court, including one in which the individual concerned was fined €5,000. “We have looked for funding under the anti-dumping legislation. There’s a lot of good work done and more to do.” he stated.
Mr Rabbitte praised Mr Tom Corevan for his work in this area and the council staff. He requested the media to give coverage to the issue at every available opportunity.
Cllr John Caulfield said the issue puts a huge burden on the Council and the taxpayer.
“As a Council, we should do a publicity drive outlining the seriousness and the consequence of indiscriminate dumping. We have to get the point across that if they don’t have a permit, they are non-compliant. As councillors we should take a leading role here.” he said.
Cllr Tom Connolly complimented Mr Rabbitte on his good work. He said rubbish was dumped all over the place and he highlighted the issue of people throwing waste out of their car windows.
Cllr Patsy O’Brien complimented Mr Rabbitte, the council staff and Mr Corevan on their good work.  “I want to compliment people for cleaning up. This is not easy to solve. More resources are needed. There is no simple answer to it.” he concluded.
Cllr John Cribbin suggested that a ‘No dumping week’ should be held in each municipal area.

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