Cllrs Jodie Neary and Lourda Scott submitted a joint motion to Greystones Municipal District meeting this week seeking a new bin collection schedule to deal with the issue of overflowing bins and litter during summer months. As a result, the Council committed to putting in place a number of temporary special bins to deal with the unprecedented rise in litter across the District.
Speaking on the issue, Social Democrats Cllr Jodie Neary said “I’m delighted our joint motion was passed and there is a commitment to add a number of temporary special bins to reflect the unprecedent rise in litter since Covid. It was a timely motion with the better weather and longer days kicking in, a time when people are out more, getting take-aways or having picnics. But it also means a scourge of overflowing bins across the District. Covid restrictions have seen more people out and about in local areas, while during non- COVID times, Greystones was becoming more of a destination town connected by the Cliff Walk. The result is always, more litter.
“Many times we have asked the Council to look at revising the bin collection schedule instead of having the usual ‘one man with a van’ doing the rounds. The answer is often that we need to rely on people to be personally responsible but as more people come to visit or use our recreational spaces and with the additional population growth, this is an unsustainable way to manage litter. Ultimately, it’s Tidy Towns and clean up groups that end up having to deal with more rubbish on the street – saving the council money. I have been collecting bags of rubbish that parents have been filling from various playgrounds across the district – we shouldn’t have to rely on good will all the time”.
Green Party Cllr Lourda Scott who also proposed the motion says, “the problem of overflowing bins in the Greystones District has become a very common and unpleasant sight in the area. Seeing bags of litter propped against bins that are packed to the brim is not only unhygienic but is also bad news for the environment with bits of litter and plastic blowing into the sea. This has been exacerbated during the pandemic with people restricting their movements to the same area and buying more takeaway food and beverages. However, even in normal times the resources allocated to the area is not in line with the pace of development that we are all familiar with.
“In the summer months in particular, Greystones is a popular tourist town attracting many visitors on the DART and Cliff walk, which bring a welcome boost to our local economy However increased numbers of people living and visiting the area lead to more rubbish and require additional resources to be allocated by the Council. While personal responsibility is important, the Council also has a responsibility to manage litter bin collections to be able to keep up with the demand. It makes sense that more frequent collections occur during the busy summer period and help keep our beautiful town litter free.
“Myself and my fellow Councillors raised the issue last year but were told that nothing could be done. This year myself and Cllr Neary are flagging this problem to the officials well in advance so that they have time to plan ahead. We were delighted with the response to our motion this month where a commitment to include pizza bins were promised and agreed with Greystones Tidy Towns. We look forward to seeing the outcome of this initiative and hope it will help in dealing with the problem of litter until Greystones gets more council staff to properly address the issue” concludes Cllr Scott.