A COUPLE of weeks ago on a pretty by-road in North Cork, a huge mattress was dumped. It remains there on the approach to a bridge over the motorway, partly jutting out on to the verge. It is a modern mattress for a double bed, so it’s sizeable and heavy, especially now that the rain has saturated it.
Anyone wanting to remove it now would need a van or a truck.
That is one of the compelling points about this incident. Someone drove out in a vehicle. They stopped at the side of the road and removed the mattress to leave it there.
It remains an eyesore for the many walkers and cyclists from the locality who use that road for their exercise during lockdown.
The presumption must be that the mattress will eventually be taken away for proper disposal by the County Council.
In other words, the taxpayer will pay for it.
But that is not the only cost of this type of anti-social behaviour.
The ditches along that road have been used for illegal dumping on an on-going basis. Local farmers took away some of the black bags at first, but eventually clearing the rubbish became impossible.
Even a casual walker now can see dozens of coffee cups and plastic bottles just thrown there.
The plastic will not rot away. It will continue to pollute our countryside for generations and, as we know, harmful particles will get into our water courses.
Sadly, this stretch of road is not the only one afflicted. The ones the dumpers choose tend to be those with few houses along them, lessening their chance of being spotted.
So some of the most beautiful parts of our countryside are being ruined by people who don’t care about the consequences.
They don’t care about the country or the people who live here. They don’t care about our environment, or tourism, or jobs.
They can afford a fine bed or loads of takeaway coffee, or the use of a van, but they won’t pay to dispose of their waste or even bother to take it to the proper disposal points.
They deserve to be caught, named and shamed, fined or even jailed.
It was good to see the Gardaí posting on social media this week to urge people to keep shared spaces clean and little free.
This came after they observed a large amount of litter collected around the Glenabo Woods area in Fermoy by a local family over the weekend. The Gardaí commended the family but said they should have been able to enjoy the amenity litter-free. The family had spent Sunday picking up other people’s rubbish.
“As we all seek out more places to visit within 5km of home, we urge people to act responsibly and keep shared spaces clean for visitors and residents alive”, the Garda post read.
They also called on people who observe any suspicious behaviour, criminal or anti-social, to report it to Gardaí or Cork County Council Environmental Services.