Reducing the charges for the disposal of mattresses will not necessarily result in less illegal dumping, senior officials in Clare County Council have flagged.

In a motion before the local authority, Cllr PJ Ryan (IND) had requested the Council to consider a reduction in charges on a trial for the disposal of mattresses and suites of furniture at the recycling centres in the county “to see if it would alleviate the dumping of this material on the side of the public roads”.

Senior engineer in the Council, Cyril Feeney insisted the current rates at their civic amenity sites in Scariff, Lisdeen and Inagh were “very competitive for the disposal of large bulky items such as furniture and mattresses”.

Charges levied “only cover the basic cost of the disposal of these items,” he explained. “Clare County Council would also have a concern that reducing charges would not actually alleviate the problem. From our experience, items such as Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), which are free to dispose of and recycle in all our amenity sites, continue to be illegally dumped on the side of public roads”.

Dealing with illegal dumping is coming at “a huge cost” to the Council, Cllr Ryan believed. “I did a check and found to dispose of a double mattress costs €20 and three piece is €50 plus €10 each for seated cushions. That is an awful lot of money. The polluter is not paying in this instance, it is the person who disposes of their rubbish properly”.

Mattresses and furniture suites are “littered all over the county,” Cllr Alan O’Callaghan (FF) stated. “It is free to go to a lot of the centres in Clare to get rid of electrical goods but they still end up dumped all over our countryside”.

A levy on the sale of these goods is worth considering “so the owner pays for their disposal,” Cllr Cillian Murphy (FF) suggested. In the US when a consumer purchases a mattress or bulky item, the company drops it off but also takes away the replacement, Cllr Clare Colleran Molloy (FF) noted.

South Clare is attracting “an awful lot of rubbish”, Cllr Pat O’Gorman (FF) observed. He noted that the Gallows Hill has become “a hotspot for dumping”. “Illegal dumping in this country particularly in Clare has gone out of hand,” Cllr Pat Daly (FF) agreed. “If large skips were left in remote parts of the county for the day, would help to prevent share of illegal dumping,” Cllr Joe Cooney (FG) maintained.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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