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Tenanty labels council’s mattress amnesty excuse a ‘cop out’

Jim Tenanty
Independent councillor Jim Tenanty says Ardee is missing out. Photo Credit: Adrian Crawley.

im Tenanty says Louth County Council’s reasoning for their refusal to hold a mattress and sofa amnesty in Ardee is a “cop out”, adding that the mid-Louth area is being neglected when it comes to recycling provision.

The Ardee Municipal District councillor tabled a motion at the latest meeting of Louth County Council on Monday calling on the council to extend a mattress and bulky amnesty, being held in Dundalk and Drogheda with anti-dumping initiative funding, to Ardee.

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Since the V&W Recycling Centre at Ardee Business Park closed in 2017, there is no dedicated recycling facility available in the mid-Louth area.

Cllr Tenanty asked that the Ardee and Mid Louth area be included as a collection centre for the mattress amnesty, citing travel and transportation as a major problem for many residents.

“Dundalk and Drogheda have benefitted in past year with funding of €66,000. A collection point can be sourced, as with the plastic and electrical recycling collections in the past,” he said. In response, the council said that finding a site suitable for social distancing was a stumbling block.

‘Any site in Ardee procured for this purpose would need to be big large enough to accommodate the necessary traffic control and social distancing requirements to facilitate current public health guidance and would also be subject to approval by the EPA for a Certificate of Authorisation under the Waste Management Licensing Regulations 2007 as amended,’ a written response from the council said.

‘Given the uncertainty around the suitability of a site and its certification by the EPA within the required time period, the mattress and sofa amnesty can only be accommodated this year within the two civic amenity sites serving the county from Dundalk and Drogheda, both sides already designed, custom built and staffed to cater for this type of activity.’

But the Independent councillor was unimpressed with the answer. “I find the reply a cop out,” he said. “Last Tuesday, we had six mattresses and a three piece suite dumped on the streets of Ardee. We had three plastic collections in farmers yards during Covid-19 with no effects to the participants or famers.

“We seem to be neglected in the Mid-Louth area because we have no recycling facilities.”

Cllr Pearse McGeough supported the motion while Independent Hugh Conlon said it was a big ask for people in remote rural areas to transport their mattresses to Dundalk and Drogheda.

New Fine Gael councillor John Reilly added that mattress dumping was an issue on the Armagh Road in Dundalk. He suggested that retailers would have an obligation to take back old mattresses upon the sale of new ones – similar to what happens with electrical appliances.

Director of Services Catherine Duff did not believe transportation of bulky items was an issue for locals in mid-Louth. “If they can drive to Ardee, they can drive to Drogheda or Dundalk,” she said. “It’s only 15 or 20 minutes. It’s not a big county we have.”

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