Belfast Councilor Gary McKeown ‘absolutely furious’ at rising fly tipping and ‘mountains of rubbish’ in the city
A Belfast councilor has called on council to take action against tipping in the city and described being “absolutely livid” about mountains of rubbish in some areas.
SDLP’s Gary McKeown highlighted the problem in the Stranmillis, Holyland and Lisburn Road area, capturing footage of litter destroying residential streets and lanes.
The south Belfast politician said the problem is reaching “climax” at this time of year and confirmed he had contacted council officials in a bid to resolve the issue.
The latest example of waste problems in the city follows weeks of headlines about the state of cleanliness and anti-social behavior in Belfast.
Belfast has seen months of bad headlines over litter, graffiti and rat infestations from fly dumps, with business owners and residents crying out against a city center seen as ‘run down’.
Mr McKeown said: “Residents of areas such as Stranmillis Village, Holylands and Lower Lisburn Road are at their wits end at the appalling fly spill that is unfolding.
“I’m absolutely livid that people have to deal with mountains of rubbish outside their own homes. Some of the examples I covered were frankly amazing until you saw them. This is no way to have to live, so we need firm action to deal with it.
“Every year we see the scourge of fly tipping reach its climax in July and August with empty houses, but just because it happens regularly doesn’t mean it’s okay and unacceptable. It causes misery for residents and is a health hazard.
“The disregard for neighbors by some tenants and landlords, and the expectation that council staff will clean up after them is completely misplaced.
“I want to commend the council staff who are doing a fantastic job of removing this waste, but they shouldn’t have to.
“We are rightly focusing on the challenges our city center faces in terms of cleaning and safety, but it is important that we also take proactive measures to address similar waste and cleaning issues. in pockets of our suburbs.”
He added: “I have written to the council’s chief executive and department director requesting a meeting to consider how we can strengthen the response to these issues, including looking at a targeted investigation, enforcement and prosecution for deal with those responsible and send a clear message that it has to stop.”
Last week, Green Councilor Brian Smyth said the current concern over the state of Belfast city center was “the result of decades of inaction”.
“I hear a similar theme over and over again from people, they find the city center dirty and don’t feel safe. I feel embarrassed and have a sense of shame when I hear this – we are failing on the fundamentals,” he told the board.