Need for ‘tougher deterrents’ to flytipping as number of incidents soar

A rise in the scourge of fly-tipping and littering has led to calls for a ‘joined up’ approach to dealing with the offences.

Thursday, 4th March 2021, 2:42 pm

With hundreds of tyres dumped in various parts of north Armagh, including the Birches and Craigavon, local politicians have been voicing disgust and disbelief.

Upper Bann MLA Jonathan Buckley called for a ‘joined up’ approach on littering and fly-tipping between the Council, government agencies and the PSNI to get tougher on deterring offenders.

The Upper Bann MLA said: “I have been inundated recently by calls fielding concerns for the amount of littering and fly-tipping that has been prevalent across Portadown in recent months.

SDLP Cllr Eamon McNeill at the Birches where 250 tyres were dumped.

“Over the last year I have voiced my concerns for repeat fly-tipping offences on our rural community, and more recently I have been shocked at some of the examples of littering and dumping across our towns and residential areas.

“It is well known the tireless efforts made by waste management, community groups and even individuals like Jon Medlow in keeping our local environment clean, but we need to make it clear that littering and dumping cannot be tolerated.

“We need a joined-up approach from government agencies, ABC Council, and the PSNI focused on deterring offenders and making our streets and rural communities cleaner and safer for everyone.”

Meanwhile SDLP Cllr Eamon McNeill described the recent dumping of tyres at the Birches near Portadown as ‘beyond belief’.

Cllr McNeill said he joined residents of the Birches community in taking these tyres out of the roadside drains along the Birches Road.

He said: “There were over 250 tyres of all descriptions dumped over the past two weeks in this area.

“This is totally unacceptable to be polluting our countryside to this extent. Over the last few months I have been liaising with Council officials on how to bring this to a halt. Several ideas are being discussed on how best to bring this to a satisfactory conclusion.

“Again much appreciation to the Birches Community for the use of their machinery, in transporting these tyres to a drop off point where they will be picked up next week by ABC Council.

“This is more unnecessary resources that Council has to use.”

The PSNI has reminded the public that fly-tipping is illegal. “It can be dangerous to human and animal health.

“Fly-tipping pollutes land and waterways. It’s expensive to clear away fly-tipped rubbish. The police and authorised officers of the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs can stop, search and seize vehicles used or suspected of being used for illegal waste activities, including fly-tipping.”

He added: “In conjunction with ABC Officers, I liaised with Northern Ireland Environment Agency and they have removed the tyres at no cost to rate payers.”

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