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Galway City Council can inspect private homes if dumping suspected


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Galway City Council can inspect private homes if dumping suspected Galway City Council can inspect private homes if dumping suspected

Galway City Council has the same rights of inspection for illegal dumping at private homes as it does in local authority-owned units.

A meeting of the City Joint Policing Committee (JPC) was told the Council had clarified this position recently and was clear of its right to enter a privately-owned dwelling following reported breaches of the Waste Management Act.

This followed a question from Cllr Terry O’Flaherty (Ind) who said she had previously been told there was nothing the Council’s Environment Section could do about stockpiling rubbish in private homes – despite being able to act on their own tenants.

“I’ve had complaints about two particular houses that weren’t owned by the City Council and when I made representations, I was told [inspectors] couldn’t enter private gardens.

“There were rodents coming from them,” said Cllr O’Flaherty.

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Executive Scientist at City Hall, Sharon Carroll, said their powers of inspection were across the board.

“There is no difference for a local authority tenant and a private residence.

“We got legal advice and we can enter any dwelling if we believe there is a risk of environmental pollution,” said Ms Carroll, adding that they were required to give 24 hours’ notice in both instances.

Data had been compiled on household waste collections, she continued, and surveys to identify those without reputable waste collection contracts had been carried out.

The first fines for households without a bin collection service had been issued this year, added Ms Carroll.

Meanwhile, Cllr Alan Curran (Soc Dem) said there were issues around the presentation of waste in the city centre, particularly where collection bags were still in use by a number of businesses and residents.

“It’s being stored on the footpaths and on roads,” said Mr Curran.

“There is a movement on the continent towards putting in underground bunkers for waste and that would enhance the public realm,” he added.

Ms Carroll said this topic had been under discussion in the Environment Section and the situation was being reviewed.

“How households and businesses present waste in bags in the city centre is being discussed. Dublin City Council is doing a pilot project at the moment,” she said, referring to the introduction of gull-proof bags in the capital city which seek to reduce the amount of litter caused by seagulls piercing through rubbish bags.

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