Cork communities clean up but the dumpers return: 'It's very frustrating'

Cork communities clean up but the dumpers return: 'It's very frustrating'
Rubbish behind a gate at Sunday Street Lane in Blackpool, Cork. Picture Dan Linehan

CORK’S Lord Mayor has described the northside’s ranking as the second most littered urban area in the country as “very frustrating”.

The Irish Businesses Against Litter (IBAL) survey for 2019 categorised Cork’s northside as being ‘littered’ and placed it in 39th spot in the ranking of 40 towns and cities. Cork city centre as deemed to be ‘clean’ based on survey criteria for the seventh year in a row, as well as survey toppers Fermoy and Midleton.

A mattress left on the side of the road at Broad lane in Blackpool, Cork today. Picture Dan Linehan
A mattress left on the side of the road at Broad lane in Blackpool, Cork today. Picture Dan Linehan

Mahon has been upgraded in the survey to ‘moderately littered’.

According to IBAL, there is significantly less litter on our cities’ streets compared to a decade ago. 

Blackpool-based GP and Lord Mayor John Sheehan said there was a dumping problem on the northside and it had the hearts of the local communities broken.

“It is a national problem, dumping, and we need to deal with it. It is very frustrating for active groups in these communities. They do a cleanup and then there is illegal dumping and it discourages all their hard work,” the Lord Mayor said.

A bag of rubbish left on Spring Lane in Blackpool, Cork today. Picture Dan Linehan
A bag of rubbish left on Spring Lane in Blackpool, Cork today. Picture Dan Linehan

He added that while he may question the methodology of the survey, there is no denying that there is a problem with dumping and litter on the northside.

“I think the survey is not comparing like with like. The city centre gets a lot more attention and resources but it does show that illegal dumping is a problem on the Northside. 

“We need to work and improve. Of course, when there is a bit of dumping, others are more likely to dump as well.”

Local councillor Ken O’Flynn said that gardaí and Cork City Council officials should “hang their heads in shame” in relation to the issue. 

“I would be sceptical about the legitimacy of the report, but at the same time illegal dumping is an issue and it is hard to disagree with that.

Rubbish left on Spring Lane in Blackpool, Cork today. Picture Dan Linehan
Rubbish left on Spring Lane in Blackpool, Cork today. Picture Dan Linehan

“Communities are doing their best, tidy towns and other groups and they are being let down by illegal dumping and the organised crime of dumping.” 

Mr O’Flynn said that city officials and Gardaí were not doing enough and should be installing CCTV and issuing fines to combat the problem.

“The people of the northside are not to blame and it is very disheartening for them to read the report. There is a tremendous amount of illegal dumping in the area, guys in vans collecting rubbish and dumping it.” 

The local councillor called upon local communities to refuse to give their waste to anyone who did not have a licence.

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