Council steps up waste clean-up and enforcement at William Street
25 May 2018
Cleansing and enforcement teams from Derry City and Strabane District Council have been working proactively to address the ongoing issue of commercial waste being dumped at a private laneway at William Street.
Council has been working very closely with its partners the Northern Ireland Environment Agency, the government agency with responsibility to ensure commercial waste is disposed of in accordance with legislation, to highlight the issue and to proactively encourage businesses to take their responsibility seriously in relation to this issue.
Earlier this week, members of the Council’s cleaning staff who regularly visit and clean the area, joined their colleagues from the enforcement section to remove waste bags and food waste from the laneway. The enforcement team and environmental health departments also met with traders in the area reminding them of their duties as commercial operators and offering advice and assistance on best practices.
Council has also advised the landowners of their responsibility to ensure the laneway is kept clear and accessible at all times.
Conor Canning, Head of Environment with Derry City and Strabane District Council said the ongoing indiscriminate dumping at William Street has been an ongoing issue for Council for some time and a lot of effort and resources had gone into raising awareness of the issues and cleaning up the area.
He reminded the public that this type of indiscriminate dumping is having a hugely negative impact on the local community who live, work and shop in the William Street area.
“We are very much aware of this issue and Council does not shy away from its responsibilities however in this case it is important that businesses take responsibility for their commercial waste, behave responsibly and adhere to the law when disposing of their commercial waste. The Council is not responsible for and should never need to clean up areas in the city centre that are privately owned and which have deposits of commercial waste that is the responsibility of private traders.
“We will continue to work proactively with our partners at the NIEA and the City Centre Initiative to assist in resolving this issue as we recognise the importance of keeping areas such as William Street, litter and waste free. We acknowledge the detrimental impact the current situation is having on our city centre and are committed to working with all parties to have it resolved.”
John Minnis, from NIEA’s Environment Crime Unit, took part in the waste inspection visits and said direct action was needed in this instance to stop fly-tipping.
“Fly-tipping is often viewed as a victimless crime but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Clean-up, investigation and prosecution costs are a significant strain on the public purse and the illegal dumping also has a significant impact on our environment, wildlife and health.
“Working with councils such as Derry City and Strabane District Council and we hope to educate businesses about their responsibilities for storing and disposing of their waste correctly.
“In NIEA we are determined to tackle waste criminals who wilfully dispose of their waste illegally but we also want to inform and motivate people to change their behaviour. To have respect and concern for their environment - for their own communities, neighbours and our economy,” Mr Minnis added.
Where a person is found guilty of indiscriminate dumping they may be liable on summary conviction, to imprisonment or to a fine up to £20,000 or to both.. For information on refuse enforcement contact the Enforcement Section at 028 71 253 253 Ext 6868 or e mail [email protected].