There is no budget allocation in the Ballina Municipal District for the picking up of rubbish that is dumped illegally in the area, the coucillors in the district was told this week. Independent councillor Seamus Weir raised the issue at the January meeting on Wednesday and listed a number of sites in his area where illegal dumping was happening. He later told the meeting that he raised the issue because he had been informed that there was no budget put aside to clean it up.
Responding to a number of incidents of dumping outlined by councillors, Marie Crowley, head of the municipal district, told the members: "Dumping is a pervasive problem across the whole county and while we do send personnel to find evidence and we have had a lot of success in trawling through rubbish and finding out and bringing people to court, we don't actually have a budget for lifting the rubbish and it is a very expensive activity. We received our budget for 2017 under the environmental code and unfortunately there isn’t a budget this year either for the lifting of rubbish, it is something that we have highlighted and are very anxious about because it would be very important to us. There isn't a budget unfortunately and there is no point in setting up an expectation that we are not going to be in a position to meet."
Cllr Neil Cruise earlier in the meeting had said: "There's one point near Foxford where people obviously came along with a van, because I drive a jeep myself and with all the amount of stuff that was skyed out of it on both sides they had to have had a van. It's like they they pulled up, opened both doors on the van, and skyed it either side of the road. It was shocking. Even at Christmas, I did a whip around the town and people were coming in with black bags and leaving them on the bins and around the bins in the town, I threw them in the trailer and brought them down to the landfill, I didn't mind doing it, I was going anyway, but that's not good enough. Along the roads it's bad, every road from here to Castlebar, from here to Sligo they are littered, it's shocking." He added: "It's shocking, you go any road, especially after verge cutting, the state of the side of the road, lets be brutally honest here, we must be a very dirty people to see the state that our countryside is left in."
Independent councillor Gerry Ginty also told the meeting: "It's not just in the countryside, it's happening in the town too, I've had people coming to me all the time. One of the things that disturbs me greatly is seeing people bringing their rubbish to Leigue Cemetery, they'll wait till you go if they see you, and then dump their rubbish in the bins that are there. They'll wait and they know you know what they are doing." Meanwhile Cllr John O'Hara suggested: "We have cameras, can we just use them in the few places people are dumping all the time, put them up and name and shame is the only thing that will stop them."