Thousands of pounds of local ratepayers’ money is having to be spent every month cleaning up rubbish dumped by filthy fly-tippers.
Responding to concerns about the growing problem of illegal dumping across the district, particularly in rural areas, Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council has revealed that in the past six months alone it has had to fork out around £25,000 to clean up waste that’s been fly-tipped along roadsides and on public land.
Highlighting the extent of the district’s illegal dumping problem, and the cost it is having on the environment and the public purse, Alderman James Tinsley condemned the “irresponsible people” who recently dumped hundreds of tyres along two rural roads near Dundrod and Stoneyford.
The Killultagh representative, who is vice-chairman of the council’s Environmental Services Committee, commented: “These actions are costing the ratepayers of Lisburn and Castlereagh thousands of pounds as our environmental staff have to collect and dispose of these tyres which costs time and money.”
He added: “When individuals get new tyres, they would normally pay a fee to have their old ones dumped. Someone out there has taken advantage of this and is pocketing the money for their own ends.
“I call on the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) to investigate this problem and to ensure a proper audit trail is in place for all tyre companies or garages that deal with tyres.”
A council spokesperson confirmed that the local authority received a number of complaints about the illegal dumping of tyres at Tullyrusk Road and Rushyhill Road.
However, following an inspection by council staff, responsibility for the clean up had to be handed over to the NIEA due to the volume and nature of the materials dumped.
The council is now urging the NIEA to ensure the tyres are removed as soon as possible.
Warning that the problem of fly-tipping is getting worse, Alderman Tinsley said it’s vital that members of the public help the council and PSNI tackle environmental crime head on by reporting any information about illegal dumping to the police.
Stressing that the local authority is continuing to work in partnership with the NIEA and PSNI to tackle illegal dumping, and take enforcement action where it can, the council spokesperson added: “Not only is there an environmental impact but also a total lack of respect for the countryside. It also costs the council, and ultimately the ratepayers, to remove illegal dumping. In the last six months clean up costs associated with fly-tipping were in the region of £25,000.
“Where hotspots of this activity have been identified the council has increased monitoring patrols and surveillance measures where possible.”