NEW bylaws which will allow local authority officials to quiz homeowners and social housing tenants on how they dispose of their waste are expected to be passed on Monday.
The regulations will see strict enforcement on waste storage and presentation for collection outside homes, while people will have to prove how they dispose of their waste or face fixed fines and possible prosecution.
Council workers have already begun door-to-door operations in areas where many instances of dumping have been reported such as Killala Gardens in Knocknaheeny.
High levels of dumping have also been reported in the Blackpool, Mayfield and Mahon, while City Council recently spent €53,000 on a massive clean-up of an illegal dump in Ballyvolane which had been the subject of fly-tipping for almost two decades.
Councillor Ken O’Flynn (FF) said the closure and securing of Ellis’s Yard has seen dumpers move to other areas.
“There has been an increase in fly tipping and illegal dumping around the city including Blackpool, Ballyvolane, Mayfield and Farranree. That cannot be tolerated. People have to pay for their rubbish,” he added.
It is hoped the new bylaws will be instrumental in tackling an increase in dumping across the city in recent months which councillors have described as an “epidemic”.
If the householder uses a civic amenity site, they will need to keep receipts for at least a year to prove this or face fines of up to €2,500, while fixed penalties of €75 will be issued to households that are without waste removal contracts or do not have documentation to prove of lawful disposal.
Under the bylaws, bin containers must be stored on the owner’s property, must not be overloaded, and must have their lids securely closed.
Most householders will not be allowed to put out their waste any earlier than 6pm the day before collection and bins will have to be taken back on to private property no later than 7pm on the day of collection.
The rubbish will have to be separated into waste, recyclable waste and residual waste, and be uncontaminated.
Council director of environmental service Valerie O’Sullivan said the bylaws will focus on the enforcement and the segregation, storage and presentation of household and commercial waste with a new litter management plan set to be developed this year.
“Following the boundary extension work will commence on the drafting of a new litter management plan for the expanded city," she said.
“Enforcement of the new bylaws together with enforcement of litter and waste legislation will be carried out from within existing resources.
“Additional funding for anti-litter initiatives is being applied for from the Waste Enforcement Regional Lead Authorities to augment Cork City Council’s current enforcement activities,” Ms O’Sullivan added.
Councillor Chris O’Leary (SF) said enforcement will be key to making sure the new bylaws are effective.
“We have people going around purporting to collect waste and then dumping it illegally and making money from this. I’m in favour of people who can’t afford things getting support but at another level, I constantly see homes with rat infestations and have seen people storing rubbish in their homes and backyards.
“This is not about penalising people who adhere to waste collections laws but there are a lot of people that have just opted out and think it’s OK to go into public parks and dump in derelict spots and it is not fair. The city is paying a fortune to pick up and dispose of waste,” he added.
However, Labour representative Peter Horgan has described the fines and regulations as “draconian”.
"Many residents who are elderly or may have issues regarding their ability to put out bins and rely on other family members to do so. If people in residential areas are caught out by a few hours because of working life with draconian fines I believe that is grossly unfair. I have asked that the Council carries out a survey to determine the ability of a household to meet these bylaws so that a proper account can be taken of those unable to comply because of physical reasons. New working hours should also be taken into account on the timings and I would propose a leeway of a number of hours either side of the proposed time outlined in the draft bylaws.”