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  • Northside East

Councillor hits back after litter criticism

Thursday, 17th January, 2019 1:00pm
Councillor hits back  after litter criticism
Councillor hits back  after litter criticism

Callum Lavery

A LOCAL councillor has hit back at criticism of his party after the North Inner City finished bottom of the table in a national litter survey.

In the survey, conducted by business group Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL), the North Inner City finished 40th and was deemed to be ‘Seriously Littered’.

Mary Fitzpatrick, a Fianna Fail candidate in the next general election in Dublin Central, said she was bitterly disappointed and blamed Fine Gael’s removal of bin waivers in the area as a primary cause of the local litter.

“The North Inner City is a wonderful, vibrant place to live and work and so it’s a real shame that this survey has made such findings,” said Ms Fitzpatrick. 

“It’s especially disappointing given the number of voluntary groups based in areas such as Stoneybatter and Summerhill that are focused on improving our environment.

“Under the last Fine Gael-led Government, 40,000 low income households in the North Inner City lost their bin waiver. 

“There has been a direct correlation between the abolition of this waiver and the increase in illegal dumping.

“There is no doubt about it. The reality is that these families are faced with difficult decisions: put food on the table and pay the electricity bill or pay for proper waste disposal?”

Ms Fitzpatrick added: “If we are to get serious about tackling litter and dumping in deprived areas of the capital such as the inner city then we need to examine the possibility of re-introducing an affordable municipal waste collection service.”

Cllr Ray McAdam (FG) said Ms Fitzpatrick’s comments were ironic and blamed previous cuts to funding by her party as potential influences in the high amount of waste in the area. 

Cllr McAdam said Fianna Fáil’s past decisions to cut funding to waste management schemes such as local recycling facilities, the litter warden service and the improvement of litter bins were to blame for litter in the area. 

“In order to tackle the scourge that is illegal dumping and littering is to ensure that enforcement is properly resourced,” he told Northside People.  

“Unfortunately Fianna Fáil and their colleagues in the Sinn Fein alliance decided to cut the money available in 2019 for more litter bins to be installed, or enhancing our litter warden service or to properly enforce our waste regulations which council only amended earlier this month.

“It is also worth remembering that it was a Fianna Fáil Government in the 2000s that removed the power of councillors with regards waste collection and handed that responsibility to unelected officials in Civic Offices.”

According to the IBAL report, the North Inner City did not get to such poor standards overnight. 

“The poor ranking sites didn't get to this state overnight and many of the following were poor in previous IBAL surveys, for example, Dunne Street, Sherrard Street Lower and Oriel Street weren't just littered but suffered from dumping, on a large scale with piles of black sacks and plastic bags of rubbish,” the report said. 

In the same survey, Dublin Airport Environs finished in the Clean to European Norms category. 

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here