Derry City and Strabane District Council will target inveterate illegal dumping, which continues to blight certain problem areas of the city, with a new pilot scheme that will initially target the Rosemount/Glen and Spencer Road/Chapel Road areas.
Council Head of Environment Conor Canning told members of the local authority’s Environment and Regeneration Committee this week that the move was necessary in to order to address the problem of persistent fly-tipping and dumping, which are both “a blight on the image” of the city and a major concern for residents.
Mr. Canning told members how council officers had successfully tackled the problem in some areas of the city, through engagement, education and awareness-raising measures.
However, it hasn’t worked everywhere, hence the new initiative.
“Dumping is continuing and in some instances council action in clearing sites does not appear to prevent recurrence of further dumping with those responsible taking this as a sign that council will simply turn up and clear the waste,” Mr. Canning advised members.
The new pilot will involve, hopefully, a coalition of elected members, landlords, community organisations, student bodies and residents coming together to address specific waste problems in specific areas.
Bespoke ‘waste management packs’, geared towards the demographic profile of a problem area, will be compiled and distributed, if neccessary. The trial will begin in the Rosemount/Glen and Spencer Road/Chapel Road areas where long-suffering residents have been plagued by the problem for years.
The council’s Director of Environment and Regeneration, Karen Phillips, said the scheme was necessary in order to tackle an issue that “keeps happening again and again and again in the same areas”.
“We need to know who the problem people are and what the problem premises are” in order to be able to “educate and address the issue,” she told the committee.
Roughly, £1m per year is spent by the council clearing up after illegal dumpers every year, the committee heard.
Ms. Phillips told members this was a waste of resources and monies that could otherwise be freed up to be spent on play parks, community centres and other civic amenities
The committee agreed to proceed with the pilot ahead of a final decision, which will be made at Full Council meeting later this month.