AN Artigarvan man says that Strabane people should prepare themselves for a ‘tsunami of rubbish’ coming across the border as new waste systems are introduced in Donegal.
Mark Hegarty, who is a former council worker, was speaking after a mountain of rubbish was dumped at the old skip site in Artigarvan in recent days.
Up to 20 bags of household rubbish were dumped on the roadside at Millview and Mark says he fears the problem will only start to get worse with the introduction of new rules on waste being introduced across the border.
“Some 20 bags of rubbish have been dumped at the old skip site at Millview,” he said. “It’s all household rubbish, betting slips, letters and food. There are several meat carcasses in amongst the rubbish which are attracting rats and there is a swarm of flies around the bags at the moment.
“It is absolutely disgusting and the rubbish has been dumped right under ‘No Dumping’ signs so the people doing this are showing a blatant disregard not only for the rules but for the residents in the area. There is an elderly couple living there who have to look out at this from their home. It’s a disgrace.”
Householders in Donegal recently faced new waste collection systems being enforced. Under the shake up, fixed bin charges will be no more, with waste collectors instead offering a range of different pricing options. The move was aimed at encouraging greater levels of recycling and effectively it will be the case that the more waste a householder puts into their black bin, the more they will pay.
The changes are being introduced because the amount of waste being sent to landfill has increased in the last two years, but Mr Hegarty fears that it will encourage Donegal people to dump their rubbish across the border.
“I know this is rubbish from a Donegal household because I looked at some of the rubbish,” he said. “There are letters with a Lifford address on it. Because of changes in Donegal this is what we are going to have to face from here on in, people coming across the border and dumping their rubbish on our roads. It’s an issue that needs to be tackled.”
Mr Hegarty says he reported the dumping to the authorities and that it will be the ratepayers in the North who will have to bear the brunt of the ignorance of the dumpers.
“It is very frustrating. This has always been a problem but I fear that it is going to get much, much worse with the new rules in Donegal regarding waste. I think it just highlights the fact that both councils need to work with their counterparts to put an end to this. Derry and Strabane District Council will have to pay for the clearing of this rubbish and it is ratepayers who will essentially have to foot the bill.