Fly-tipping or illegal dumping has become an even greater blight on the Donegal landscape during the ongoing coronavirus lockdown.
According to Donegal County Councillor Terry Crossan (Sinn Féin), the incidence of fly-tipping has increased by 25 percent in the county since the coronavirus restrictions came into place.
Three particularly disgusting incidents of fly-tipping in Inishowen have been highlighted over the weekend.
Cllr Crossan said he had been contacted on Monday about an incident of fly-tipping at Iskaheen, which included a discarded takeaway receipt.
Cllr Crossan added: “I was also contacted on Saturday night about the dumping of rubbish in Lios na Grá woods in Muff.
“Among that rubbish was a receipt that indicated it may have come from a care home, which in the current circumstances raised fears about the possible transmission of coronavirus.
“When I rang the care home in question, I was informed the individual named on the receipt no longer worked there. The care home also offered to send someone to remove the rubbish, amid concerns it might contain other confidential information.
“I would urge the local community to be vigilant and report any such activity to Donegal County Council or myself. We have an excellent litter warden, Pearse McGrory, in Inishowen who will act but incidents of fly-tipping need to be reported with accurate locations,” said Cllr Crossan.
Mr Crossan also cautioned members of the public about going through bags.
He added: “I am aware of someone getting a prick from a needle in another incident and having to undergo tests to ensure they had not contracted a disease.
“I am also certain the care home had no direct connection with this incident. It was purely coincidental the receipt was among the rubbish, which was probably discarded by the person named on it.”
Councillor Albert Doherty (Sinn Fein) also posted pictures of items, including a fridge freezer and batteries, which were dumped on one side of the glen, en route to Lough Inn in East Inishowen over the weekend.
Cllr Doherty described the practice as “not acceptable” and stressed all the dumped items could have been recycled, free of charge at any one of Donegal County Council’s six recycling centres.
The Carndonagh councillor added: “It has been a really, really busy week in relation to fly-tipping in the peninsula, with council teams responding. There is also disappointment at the abandon with which people seem to just discard rubbish.
“I have made an appeal to Donegal County Council and to the Environment Director to respond to this, in cooperation with Bryson recycling.
“I think we need another amnesty invite, for people to come into the recycling centres with bulky items like mattresses. Maybe we could name a few specific dates this side of the summer.
“Council needs to be responsive and especially to some of the criticisms when people say they find it too dear on occasions to use the recycling centre,” said Cllr Doherty.
A staff member at Carndonagh Recycling Centre confirmed the facility was operating as normal throughout the current covid-19 restrictions.
Situated at Station Road, Carndonagh, the centre opens as follows: Monday (8.30am to 4.30pm), Wednesday (8.30am to 4.30pm) and Saturday (8.30am to 4.30pm).
All electrical items, all batteries, bulbs, fluorescents and metals can be recycled free of charge. The bottle banks, can banks and textile banks can also be used for free.
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