Illegal dumping a heath hazard

Councillor Gary Middleton beside some of the dumped rubbish.
Councillor Gary Middleton beside some of the dumped rubbish.

Large scale dumping of household waste, furniture and clothing on the outskirts of Londonderry is causing a health an safety hazard Councillor Gary Middleton has said.

A diverse range of domestic refuse, furniture, clothing as well as perishables and other non-perishable goods have been found dumped on the Woodside Road between Newbuildings and the Top of the Hill on the outskirts of Gobnascale.

Mr Middleton said he was alerted to the dumping incident at the weekend, and visited the area on Saturday night.

“I was confronted with a range of domestic rubbish that is still there, which now has to be lifted by council staff as it has become a health and safety issue on the side of this busy rural road,” he said.

“As the rubbish has become strewn over time it now requires that council staff set up safety precautions so that they can get this rubbish lifted without hazard to other road users.

“There is a mix of items at the site, including general household waste and kitchen equipment, discarded furniture, glass, clothes and other domestic waste.

“All of this had been indiscriminately dumped just yards from housing in the area and it is causing an immense amount of distress to the residents of the homes nearby.

“I cannot understand why someone would want to dump such material in such a public place when several civic amenity sites exist so close by.

“This was obviously done in the hours of darkness, and with such great facilities in the city it is hard to understand why anyone would go to such lengths at night to dispose of rubbish in this way.

“The material left at the side of the road are highly dangerous, not least as it contains broken glass but also as time goes on it will become appealing to rodents.

“Whenever I was out on Saturday it was obvious to me that this act of dumping would have taken some time to carry out and may not have been the work of just one person.

Addressing the clean-up costs involved, Mr Middleton continued: “All of this is putting an extra burden on ratepayers as the onus is now on the council to lift all of this unsightly rubbish.

“People with this kind of waste should have taken it to a designated skip site.

“I understand that the incident is under investigation by the council and, hopefully, the culprits will be caught and fined.

“Certainly from my perspective that is what needs to happen in this case. The message needs to go out that dumping waste in villages or rural areas is wrong.”