Residents lodge complaint over dumping of food in recycling bins – Impartial Reporter

Residents of the Ports Road near Newtownbutler have submitted a letter of complaint to the Chief Executive of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council over the discovery that refuse collectors were contaminating recyclable goods with food waste.

The letter, dated January 29 from the Ports Road Access Committee, stated that the practice was observed by “multiple residents on Ports Road going back to Autumn 2023”, and was observed as many as six times from October, 2023.

The letter claims that the “standard collection lorry” stopped collecting waste in October of last year, and while being informed it was a “temporary measure”, it never returned.

Continuing, the letter stressed that waste collection staff have provided an “excellent service” for 40 years to the Ports Road area, and believe this issue arose due to an ongoing dispute in the area around right-of-way access to Lough Erne.

The letter then states: “It is unfortunate that residents had to approach The Impartial Reporter newspaper in the end to highlight this scandalous situation, with a view to getting it stopped.

“Indeed, it is telling that this practice ended in the week commencing 15/01/24 when The Impartial Reporter published the story of residents’ concerns.”

The letter continues: “What is even more ridiculous now is that the waste collection day has changed on part of Ports Road, and two lorries are being used to collect the recycling waste, with one lorry for brown food waste, and another for the blue recycling bin.

“On a section of Ports Road, the waste collection day remains Friday, and on the other, it has been switched to Tuesday.

“Even more bizarrely, the lorries collect landfill and recycled waste in the same week, which has utterly confused residents.”

The letter also claimed that residents from other parts of Fermanagh have contacted those in Ports Road to say they have seen similar practices where they live.

The Council was contacted about some of the issues raised in the letter, including being asked to confirm receipt of the complaint.

The Council was further asked if there have been bin collection days changes in Ports Road; are there separate lorries for food waste and recycling; and is recycling waste being collected at the same time as landfill waste and in the same lorry?

It was also asked to provide how much this extra work costs the Council, and how many extra workers are required to fulfil these duties.

However, a Council spokesperson refused to answer these questions, stating: “The Council is currently carrying out an investigation into arrangements for waste collection on the Ports Road.

“The investigation is an internal matter, and as advised last week, we are unable to provide any further detail or comment.

“The Council is committed to delivering a high-quality service for all our residents, and all complaints received by the Council are managed in line with our Complaints Procedure,” added the spokesperson.