Despite a decision being made to move the controversial recycling bring bank at Ferdia Park last year – and money being allocated to the job – their removal from the estate is ‘months away’.
Councillors in attendance at the Ardee Municipal District monthly meeting on Thursday heard that a new site has yet to be identified for the relocation of the recycling facility – meaning the longstanding issue for Ferdia Park residents is set to continue into the spring.
Locals have been vocal in their unhappiness at the bring bank at the entrance to the estate which has been used as a site for dumping in recent times. Even if the banks are full, patrons have taken to leaving their rubbish and recyclable goods on the ground adjacent to bins.
The recent closure of V&W Recycling in the town has put even greater pressure on the limited capacity of bring banks in Ardee – which were already at breaking point. Now, the situation is getting worse as opposed to better.
“We are aware of the ongoing and significant issue,” Louth County Council Director of Services Joe McGuinness tod the meeting. “We are currently looking at two alternative sites at the moment that have been suggested. I would like to think I could bring a proposal back to the next meeting on it. It would be our intention to move it from Ferdia Park.”
In October, local councillors made the decision that the bins should be removed from Ferdia Park and €5,000 from the annual Ardee Municipal District discretionary budget had been allocated to pay for the relocation – but progress on that front has been slow.
“It will be at least a month,” McGuinness said. “We’re talking months to be absolutely clear. I’ve asked the litter wardens to pay more attention to it. I’ve also asked the operations people in relation to increasing the collection rate.”
In what has become a regular occurrence, residents of the estate are having to take to social media to highlight their plight. Only then are the overflowing bins emptied at the request of local representatives to the council.
“It’s not fair. The amount of dumping done over Christmas was serious,” cathaoirleach Dolores Minogue said. “We as a Municipal decided in October that we would move them. Councillors are doing their best to facilitate the residents and help get this bank moved. We’re not sitting on our laurels doing nothing. We’re working with the council – we are doing our job.”
Fianna Fail councillor Liam Reilly suggested that the installation of CCTV could work in the fight to prevent people from dumping their rubbish at full bottle banks. “If word gets out that that’s around and people have been caught, that’s a massive deterrent,” he said. McGuinness said that CCTV could be looked as part of an “overall enforcement strategy.”
Jim Tenanty said the lack of adequate recycling facilities in Ardee is now putting a burden on the greater mid-Louth area – while suggesting the installation of temporary bins could help alleviate the pressure.
“I’ve been contacted by residents in Philipstown who say their bins are being used at a much greater capacity since V&W Recycling closed – and Collon too. The town has only 15 bins and maybe another four or five on a temporary basis could help.”
The high volume of use coupled with a failure to empty the banks often enough has for a considerable length of time led to some people simply dumping their rubbish beside the banks. As well as being overused, the bins were also considered a real danger to those using the facility, as well as motorists and pedestrians – given it’s close proximity to the estate entrance.
Back in October, it was expected that the removal of the facility was just weeks away – with SuperValu on the Ashwalk considered the most likely destination for a relocation.