18 May 2022

New council group set up to look at number of vehicles from the Republic using 'dumps' in Derry

Concern that local ratepayers are paying for people from other jurisdictions to get rid of their rubbish


Pennyburn Recycling Centre in Derry.

A new group is to be set up within Derry City and Strabane District Council to look at the number of vehicles from the Republic using local council 'dumps'.

It was revealed recently that just over 10% of all vehicles using the Pennyburn 'dump' in Derry are from the Republic.

Concern had been raised that local ratepayers were footing the bill for people from a different jurisdiction to get rid of their rubbish.

Five of the council's 11 recycling centres reopened on May 18 last after being closed from March because of the coronavirus pandemic restrictions.

After the recycling centres reopened, council officers noted the registration of all vehicles using them.

The information was collated from Monday, May 18, to Friday, May 29.

The figures revealed that during that 11-day period, a total of 1,067 cars with Republic of Ireland number plates used the local dumps.

The vast majority of Republic-registered vehicles used the Pennyburn recycling centre - a total of 936.

This was just over 10% of the overall 9,099 vehicles which used the Pennyburn dump during this time.

Eighty three vehicles with southern number plates used the Glendermott recycling centre during this period, out of a total of 9,605 visitors.

There were 48 southern-registered cars which used the Strahan's Road dump in Strabane, out of a total of 2,882 visitors.

The two other councils dumps that reopened on May 18 - Strathfoyle and Claudy - had no vehicles from the Republic visit them during the period from May 18 to May 29.

Derry’s recycling centres do not charge people to get rid of their waste.

In Donegal, people must pay for some items at recycling centres while others are free.

The issue of usage of the local recycling centres was discussed yesterday at a special meeting of the council's Environment and Regeneration committee.

At the meeting, DUP Alderman Ryan McCready proposed that a working group be set up to look at the issue of vehicles from the Republic using the local recycling centres.

This was backed by all other parties on the council apart from Sinn Fein.

In a report prepared for yesterday's meeting, it was stated that additional staff would be needed if the council was to monitor vehicles using the recycling centres.

The report stated: "More recently Members asked that officers consider the implications of a policy that restricts access to recycling sites to those that reside within the Council area only.

"This would place an additional resource burden on the service in that staff will have to check the residency details of all those entering sites right across the district.

"Several of the sites operate with a single member of staff, who needs to supervise the disposal of materials and assist those using the site, therefore additional staff would be required at these facilities to ensure compliance."

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