Residents of Fountain Hill and the surrounding area are becoming increasingly distressed by an escalating problem of illegal dumping of domestic waste, which is attracting vermin.
One resident, Eileen McCourt, who lives on Moore Street, says she is at her wits end after rats invaded her home due to the continual dumping. She said she has now had enough and has called on Derry City and Strabane District Council to take action.
“This is a problem that has been ongoing for a number of years, particularly in relation to the Moore Street area,” she said.
“It seems to me that people just think they can dump rubbish where they like and once one person dumps a bag of rubbish other people just follow suit.
“I get that Moore Street is very steep and that we have to pull our bins up to the top of the hill, but there is no call for this dumping. There really is no call for it.
“I have been telephoning the council and taking pictures of this problem we have up here for years. It angers me when the area is clean that it just happens again and no one is taking action to prevent it, when information on the culprits has been reported.
“There are other times when we have reported the rubbish and despite speaking to the head of the cleansing department, and being assured by her that the bins and the bags of rubbish will be lifted that they are still sitting they days or weeks later.
“There are two or three blue bins at the end of Dunfield Terrace, close to the junction of Fountain Hill that just sit there, week in and week out.
They have been there since Christmas and whoever put them out used them for waste and not recycling, so they have not been emptied and they are still sitting there. The smell is something else.
“They are regularly overturned and vermin get into them. There is also a problem with dumping at the back of houses that back onto the old quarry park, and domestic rubbish has been sitting there for well over a month. That area of land has become a rats paradise and a lot of people who live about here are complaining about the rodents.”
Eileen said she has been living in the area for around 20 years, but the problem with illegal and indiscriminate dumping is only a recent phenomenon.
“It is not a problem caused by long-term residents of the area and we are calling on the council to take action against those responsible.
“It is not okay for us to have to put up with this.
“It is intolerable and we really want it to stop,” she said.
A spokesperson for Derry City and Strabane District Council said it is aware of ongoing issue of indiscriminate dumping in this area and has been working with property owners and the owners of the land owners directly behind the properties. “The Council would like to remind the public that it is against the law to dump indiscriminately and appropriate action will be taken against anyone found littering or dumping,” the spokesman said.
“We would appeal to the public to act responsibly and to assist us in keeping the city and district clean.
“Council will work to identify the perpetrators in this case of illegal dumping and appropriate prosecution procedures will be applied if successful”, the spokesperson added.
Details on waste management services at Derry City and Strabane District Council are available at www.derrystrabane.com