• Christopher

Palmerstown-Fonthill needs a new approach to... litter, illegal dumping and waste management

As our community grows it is vital that SDCC invests in further interventions to tackle litter, illegal dumping and waste management in North Clondalkin, Palmerstown and Fonthill – O’Dwyer

Since being elected as the Local Area Representative for Palmerstown-Fonthill the biggest issues that keep on being reported to me by residents are accumulations of litter and incidents of illegal dumping across the area. Each time I receive a report I try to visit the site in order to get pictures and assess the extent of the issue and report it to the Environment Department within SDCC. In June 2020 I reported an increase of litter on the Neilstown Road in North Clondalkin and reported to SDCC that both nearby bins were overflowing. In the report I asked two questions, the first question was in relation to how often the public bins are emptied in North Clondalkin and the second in relation to the frequency of litter picking carried out by SDCC. The response from SDCC was disappointing and implied that there is no point in providing North Clondalkin residents with a timely response to reports of build ups of litter and illegally dumped items. To quote directly from the email: “If we simply keep taking it away very quickly, the Council is teaching those who dump that it is no problem and to keep doing so.” This response from the Council is worrying and shows a bias against the North Clondalkin area and a certain negative perception of North Clondalkin residents.

“On my way to work one morning I passed by the Harelawn Estate and noticed that there was an abandoned mattress on the footpath running along the Coldcut Rd, I fired off an email to report but 12 hours later when I was on my way home from work the mattress was still there. I phoned the Customer Care number and reported it again, on the following Monday I passed by the area again and the mattress was still there and had been joined by a broken wooden bed frame. The attitude of the Council not to respond in a timely manner is what will cause further build-ups of illegally dumped items, if instead the Council increased response times – like in other areas of the County – then there could be a reduction. North Clondalkin – like other working-class areas of the County – deserve access to quality service provision.

In a recent article on the RTE News website the HSE Pest Control unit reported that in the first five months of 2020 they received over 22, 670 callouts in Dublin alone and illegal dumping was the leading cause of this increase. In North Clondalkin we have an issue with rodents and the Councils delayed response to illegal dumping, overflowing bins and accumulations of litter to teach residents a lesson will only lead to an increase of rodents and other pests.

I am calling on SDCC to change their attitude towards North Clondalkin and its residents and to engage with local community groups to find a lasting intervention. I am also calling on SDCC to explore introducing affordable waste management services for households on low incomes, for pensioners and those in receipt of disability payments.

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