LAZY HOUSEHOLDERS who don’t separate their household rubbish correctly are costing Fermanagh ratepayers millions every year.
In the year ahead, Fermanagh and Omagh District Council plan to spend in the region £3.7 million on waste collection, £5.4 million on waste disposal, and over £2 million on “other cleaning”, which includes street sweeping, picking up litter, and removing chewing gum from streets.
However, a large proportion of that money could be saved if residents could make sure that the right rubbish goes into the right coloured bins, making sure their household recycling is not contaminated.
Elizabeth Harkin from the Council said people could help reduce costs, and ultimately bring down rates by making sure they were separating their household rubbish and by “reducing, reusing and recycling.”
“Continue to separate your waste, and don’t mix it!” she pleaded, explaining how landfill costs were skyrocketing. “If you put general household waste in the blue bin, that bin is contaminated and can’t be recycled and has to be take to landfill.
“The EU and the Government have now put caps on the amount of waste that can be sent to landfill, making it even more expensive. The more that is recycled and reused, the less that will go to landfill, reducing the cost to the Council and the rate payers.”
Stating that people were continuing to put contaminated rubbish in their blue bin, which can’t be collected if it is seen to be contaminated, Ms Harkin said the Council took their waste management responsibilities very seriously but “residents have to do their bit too.” She urged people to use their blue bins properly, and to avail of the Council’s ‘Binovation’ app, which has advice and information on proper waste disposal and recycling facilities.
Ms Harkin also said littering and people throwing chewing gum on the street “continues to be a costly problem.”
“People can help reduce these costs by dispensing of all litter and chewing gum in bins provided, or bringing their litter away home with them,” she said. “This is money that could be saved.”
Cllr Paul Robinson agreed: “If people just picked their rubbish up after themselves, we wouldn’t have to put up rates,” said he said. “It’s a big issue. The council have to bring in specialists to get the chewing gum off, for example. That’s money that could be saved.
“I know all about littering myself, we live outside Fivemiletown and one day there my wife picked up two bags of rubbish on a small stretch of the road.
“People buy chips and things, then just throw the wrapping out the window. That is very dangerous in the countryside. The polystyrene cartons could be poisonous to lambs or cattle.
“People need to respect our area and bring their rubbish with them. We need to bring in more fines, like in England.”
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Posted: 9:00 am March 31, 2016