Council secures illegal rubbish dump in Cork


March 8th, 2019

Cork City Council has secured the site of an illegal rubbish
dump on the North side of the city as part of a €53,000 clean-up operation that
residents say is long overdue.

The new “24-hour security” measures is set to deter further
dumping at the site in Ellis’s Yard, Ballyvolane.

Noreen Murphy, a local resident who lives beside the dump
and has campaigned for its clean-up, welcomed the move and that the Council is
“finally doing their job”.

“The air is clean and if the Council maintain their
property, no child in Ballyvolane will ever again be exposed to carcinogenic particles
and smoke,” Ms Murphy said.

Ms Murphy, a
key figure in the locals’ fight to clean the open site, had previously
described the clean-up operation as a “victory” that would have not been achieved
without intense campaigning and media coverage of the issue.

For nearly two
decades, a large volume of household rubbish, animal carcasses and abandoned
cars had accumulated at the open dump in Ballyvolane.

Contractors have now removed 200 tonnes of waste, including exposed asbestos, dumped at the site over the span of the last 12 months.

Earlier this
week a caravan full of rubbish was found on the dumpsite after it was cleaned-up
late last month. The new dumping caused fresh concerns among locals, leading residents
to call on the Council to promptly secure the site with fences and CCTV to
deter further dumping.

Locals had previously started a
Facebook group called Ballyvolane Residents for a Clean Environment to put pressure on the Council to address the
persistent problem.

Earlier this
month, MEP Luke Flanagan also wrote to the European Commission asking if delays
to the clean-up of the dump amounted to a breach of EU environmental and public
safety standards.

Mr Flanagan
expressed concern about how close the open dump is to the homes of residents, a
crèche and a soccer pitch used by children.

The rubbish dumped in Ellis’s
Yard was often set on fire, with local residents expressing fear and concern
over the nature of chemicals emissions from the burning.

Open dumps are known to impose
significant risks to human health as well as the environment with air pollution
being the primary cause for concern.

Particulate matter arising from open dumps can aggravate humans’ airways, degrade lung function and worsen asthma.

About the Author

Shamim Malekmian

Shamim is a Senior Reporter at The Green News and a contributing writer to the Irish Examiner, Cork Evening Echo and the Dublin Inquirer.

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