Armagh falls victim to fuel waste dumping

May 29, 2012

By Christine Keighery

Just days after The Examiner reported on the crippling cost to Newry ratepayers of the removal of abandoned toxic waste, yet another incident occurred – this time in Armagh, at Gribben’s Crossroads, Granemore.  On Saturday 18th May, barely a week since figures from the Director of Environmental Services revealed April’s bill to Newry ratepayers of almost £35,000 for the removal of illegally dumped fuel waste there, three large fluid filled containers were discovered dumped on the roadside at Gribben’s Cross.

Sinn Fein Councillor, Mary Doyle, who was alerted to the finding by local residents, blasted those responsible, condemning the practice as “unacceptable”.  Councillor Doyle also criticised Armagh Council’s removal procedures which led to the waste remaining at the site until the following Monday.

Having visited the scene herself, the Councillor said,

“On arrival at the site I was shocked to see that two of the containers were dumped lying on their side at the side of the road next to a bus stop where local children wait for their school bus, and one was right in the middle of the road, and had the potential of causing a serious accident.

“I contacted Roads Service to clear the containers from the road to make it safe for road users, and I also contacted Armagh Council’s Environmental Health Officer to inform him of the situation.  Due to the fact that the removal of these containers is specialised, which must be tendered for, the containers had to remain in situ until Monday.

“This is a totally unsatisfactory situation and I intend to bring the issue up at council, in an attempt to alter the present procedure, so that in future, in a situation as this these containers can be removed as soon as possible.

The Councillor praised the prompt response of Roads Service employees and appealed to the perpetrators of the dumping to consider the cost of clean-up for the ratepayers and the risks posed to the local community and the environment.