Calls for a further increase in frequency of bottle banks in county Louth fell on deaf ears on Monday – as the local authority told councillors the collection rates have increased by 50% in recent times to deal with increased usage.
Independent councillor Maeve Yore tabled a motion requesting more bottle banks and higher frequency across the county but Chief Executive Joan Martin was critical of the repeated calls by local representatives for more services, after they voted against raising the Local Property Tax earlier this year.
Cllr Yore’s motion requested that ‘Louth County Council install additional bottle banks at high capacity sites, increase frequency of emptying them and ensure signage on all bottle banks throughout county advising of litter penalties.’
Speaking at Monday’s meeting of Louth County Council at St Gerard’s Hall in Dundalk, she said: “I’m not happy with the response. Frequency needs to be increased. We need solutions and we need to be proactive.”
In a written response to the motion, Director of Services Catherine Duff said the council were concentrating on ensuring the collection contractor met current demand.
“While this is a potential option available to the Council within those constraints, our primary and preferred response is to ensure that the contractor meets demand with a sufficiently frequent collection schedule, in accordance with their obligations and their own assurances to the council,” the response read.
Collection rates have increased by 50% in this regard. Signs warning of penalties for illegal littering at all bottle banks have been ordered and are in the process of being prepared and installed. Some are already in place and all should be in place by the end of the year.
Ms Martin used the opportunity to remind councillors that additional services would be difficult to provide if the local authority’s income did not increase.
“The biggest constraint is funding. We do not have funding to expand the recycling collection. This council did not support any increase in Local Property Tax. There is no money for additional services. Councillors need not be looking for it.”