McKeown: Action needed now to tackle "mountains of waste"

Gary McKeown Waste

Belfast SDLP Councillor Gary McKeown says action needs to be taken as residents face renewed misery over "mountains of waste" in the south of the city.

Cllr McKeown said: "Residents in areas suc as Stranmillis village, the Holylands and lower Lisburn Road are at their wits' end at the appalling fly-tipping that is taking place. I am absolutely livid at people having to face mountains of waste outside their own homes. Some of the examples I have dealt with have been frankly unbelievable until you see them. This is no way to have to live, so we need firm action to tackle it.

"Every year we see the fly-tipping plague reach fever-pitch in July and August with house clearances, but just because it happens regularly doesn't make it right and doesn't make it acceptable. It is causing misery to residents and is a health hazard. 

"The disregard for neighbours by some tenants and landlords, and the expectation that council staff will clean up after them is completely out of order. I want to commend council staff who do a fantastic job at clearing this waste, but they shouldn't have to do it.

"We are rightly putting a focus on the challenges faced by our city centre in terms of cleansing and safety, but it is important that we also take proactive steps to deal with similar waste and cleansing issues in pockets of our suburbs.

"I have written to the council Chief Executive and the departmental Director seeking a meeting to examine how we can beef up the response to these issues, including looking at targeted investigation, enforcement and prosecution to deal with those responsible and send out a clear message that it has to stop."

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