Hundreds of tons of illegally dumped waste on commonage outside Tuam have been cleaned up – at enormous expense to Galway County Council.
This is to pave the way for the installation of a number of covert CCTV cameras in the area which has been blighted by illegal dumping for years.
Council workers last week gathered plastics, bottles, cardboard (most of which could have been recycled) along with a huge about of baby’s nappies that have been strewn on fields in the Cloonthue area outside Tuam.
Last week week, officials attached to the Environment Section of Galway County Council along with workers and those involved in Community Employment Schemes began the massive clean-up in Tuam.
The illegal dumping has mainly occurred on agricultural lands on the outskirts of the town and in an area which is also sparsely trafficked. This provides ample opportunities for householders to illegally dump their waste.
In the past, Galway County Council have spent tens of thousands of euros in clean-up operations in and around Tuam as a direct result of illegal dumping.
Cllr Pete Roche from Abbeyknockmoy, where illegal dumping has also been a major problem, said that he was delighted that Galway County Council were getting serious about the issue.
“What we are witnessing here in Tuam is absolutely disgusting. Imagine the mindset involved in driving out here, parking up and then taking bags of rubbish and simply dumping them over a wall or a fence. It is just hard to believe that people are capable of this,” he said.
The Fine Gael councillor recently highlighted the problem of illegal dumping on bogs in Abbeyknockmoy, where massive clean-up operations were required, and he has been successful in securing barriers and CCTV cameras which he believes will go a long way towards resolving the problem.
Illegal dumping has been taking place in this part of Tuam for many years and, in the past, required Galway County Council to carry out several clean-up initiatives at huge expense to the cash-strapped local authority.
Such is the severity of the problem in Tuam at the moment that a machine on tracks was deemed necessary to carry out the removal of the rubbish from the lands in question.
“I have never seen anything like this . . . and, believe me, I have come across a lot of illegal dumping in my time. It is bad beyond belief and hopefully this is the last clean-up operation that will have to be carried out at this particular location.
“What is even more annoying is that the vast majority of the rubbish being collected could have been recycled at a minimal cost. Those who are responsible for this should be ashamed of themselves,” Cllr Roche added.
As the workers went about the clean-up of the lands that were seriously littered, even they were shocked by the volume of children’s nappies that they discovered. Council officials at the scene admitted that it would cost several thousands of euros to get rid of the rubbish.
The Council also had to carry out a major clean-up on Gilmartin Road which cost in the region of €40,000. This estate, which was mainly occupied by Travellers, is due for a total revamp with the vast majority of residents having been relocated.
The €8 million project is expected to begin over the coming weeks and will be completed over the next couple of years.