A Fine Gael local representative has called upon the Environment and Housing sections of Westmeath County Council to commence the process of routine calls to both local authority and private houses requesting proof of waste disposal. Cllr. John Dolan was addressing the Council Chamber during the monthly meeting of Athlone Moate Municipal District.
“As a local authority we spent €250,000 eradicating illegally dumped rubbish in the county last year. We have to get to the root of this ongoing issue and with that in mind I would like to see the Council becoming more pro-active in this regard, employing the necessary staff who would go from house to house checking on those residents for relevant receipts relating to their waste disposal. This would guarantee results I am sure,” Cllr. Dolan stated.
Empathising, Cllr. Tom Farrell noted that “knocking on doors was key” if the Council wanted to improve upon the present predicament.
Further concurring, Fianna Fáil Councillor, Aengus O’Rourke, acknowledged that Cllr. Dolan’s motion was a “no brainer” adding that the local authority had not made “much progress” on the illegal waste disposal issue.
“Perhaps we could pilot a programme in this regard for a six month period and I can tell you that this would change the mindset of the usual perpetrators almost instantly. It is simply amazing what impact of a door knock would have and I would like us, as a Council, to proceed with Cllr. Dolan’s suggestion as soon as is practically possible,” Cllr. O’Rourke emphasised.
Adding to his initial comments, Cllr. Dolan queried how many unannounced house calls had been made with regard to seeking out those who choose to illegally dump their waste.
“It is is the local authority handbook that tenants must always dispose of their waste in a legal manner. I know of one example where a Council tenant had filled numerous rooms in their house with refuse and when that particular family had departed their premises, we, as a local authority, had to go into that home and remove all the waste. It was an unsightly scene,” Cllr. Dolan reiterated.
Replying, Director of Services, Mr. Barry Kehoe, stated that a request for additional resources to carry out inspections in this regard would be put forward to the Council executive for consideration.