Northern Ireland news

Calls for action as residents face misery over 'mountains of waste' in south Belfast

Gary McKeown has written to Belfast City Council about the flytipping

THERE were calls for action last night as residents face misery over "mountains of waste" being dumped near their homes in south Belfast.

SDLP councillor Gary McKeown said people living in the Stranmillis, Holyland and Lisburn Road areas, are "at their wits' end at the appalling fly-tipping".

He posted images capturing images the rubbish blighting many residential streets and alleys.

He said he had written to Belfast City Council in a bid to examine ways to "send out a clear message that it has to stop".

He added that "firm action" is needed to tackle the ongoing problem, which is exacerbated during the summer months amid house clearances in the area from students leaving.

"I am absolutely livid at people having to face mountains of waste outside their own homes," he said.

"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... and the expectation that council staff will clean up 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 directors 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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