Dirty Derry: it’s time to clean up your act

Litter and illegal dumps are everywhere in Derry. To be brutally honest, there are areas of this city that are absolutely filthy.

Throw it on the street or dump it at the side of the road seems to be the prevailing attitude among many people in this city and district.

While littering and illegal dumping are both acts of improper disposal of rubbish, there are some subtle differences. Litter is primarily small items that are scattered about; littering can be an intentional act or it can be accidental.

Illegal dumping, however, is always an intentional act and is done for many reasons - cost, convenience, ignorance, habit, profit, or to hide other illegal activities.

Illegal dumping in Derry often involves large items or large quantities of small items - appliances, tyres, bags of daily rubbish, furniture, and other household wastes.

The health risks associated with illegal dumping are significant. Areas used for illegal dumping may be easily accessible to people, especially children, who are vulnerable to the physical and chemical hazards posed by wastes. Rodents, insects, and other vermin attracted to dump sites may also pose health risks.

Illegal dump sites only serve as magnets for additional dumping, As a result, property values decrease and the community becomes unattractive to commercial and residential developers.

Finally, the costs to local government and industry associated with continuous clearing of illegally dumped waste materials are significant. Derry City Council is spending thousands of pounds each year on clean-up, hauling, and disposal activities associated with illegal dump sites. You can be sure that these costs will be passed on to residents in the form of higher rates.

Come on, Derry - it’s time to clean up your act.