FODC filmed dumping food waste into blue bins – Impartial Reporter

The Impartial Reporter has obtained evidence suggesting that Fermanagh and Omagh District Council (FODC) has been mixing food waste with blue-bin items, thereby contaminating recyclables.

Videos and still images seen by this newspaper reveal refuge collectors from FODC emptying brown caddy bins, primarily designated for food waste recycling, into the blue recycling bins in the Newtownbutler area.

The footage captures vegetable peelings, bread, and other food scraps being deposited into the blue recycling bins before ultimately being loaded onto bin lorries on at least three occasions.

This disturbing practice, documented over an extended period through CCTV footage provided by residents, suggests that this is not an isolated incident.

Beyond the inconvenience to residents, environmental concerns loom large as contaminated waste cannot be recycled and is destined for landfills.

Eamon O’Harte, a concerned resident, expressed his dismay, stating: “I was horrified to discover this practice was going on in 2024 after all we hear from FODC, preaching about the need for recycling only to discover they were the very body responsible for deliberately contaminating recycled materials.”

Another resident, Marie Mohan, shared her astonishment, too, saying: “I was extremely annoyed at the mess of my blue bin every time I emptied it. I started to think that someone else was dumping waste into the bin at the roadside before collection.

“I discovered from our CCTV that council workers were dumping my brown food waste bin into the blue recycling bin and then dumping everything into their lorry.”

On its website, FODC explicitly states that, according to the Food Waste Regulations (Northern Ireland), all food waste must be placed in the brown wheelie bin or food waste caddy, and it is unacceptable in the black or green landfill bin. The website highlights the substantial environmental and economic benefits of the food waste bin and the advantages of recycling food waste.

Yesterday (Wednesday) The Impartial Reporter contacted Fermanagh and Omagh District Council for comment but a spokeswoman said the organisation needed three days to respond.

“I will have a response with you on Monday,” said the spokeswoman.