Frustrated residents are fed up with continued fly tipping and litter that is polluting the Banbridge countryside at Kiln Lane bridge, and are calling for action to be taken.
Speaking of the unsightly scene she witnessed on investigation, Councillor Marie Hamilton said: “Looking over one side of the bridge I saw some waste, but was astounded and disgusted when I saw the mess that lay in the stream below on the other side.
“This needs to be stamped out for the sake of the wildlife, locals and the owners of the land.”
Whilst responsibility for cleaning up lies with the landowner, there appears to be uncertainty as to who this might be. Banbridge District Council has agreed to carry out land registration searches on the area, which is believed to be part of an old railway line.
Manager of Environmental Services, Gillian Topping, said: “An officer is taking a look at the problem and it’s currently under investigation. We will carry out a land search to try to identify who the land owner is, but it’s possible there may be no registered owner. It’s maybe an old boundary or a historical record, or possibly belong to someone such as the Rivers Agency.”
Pointing out that this crime tends to be carried out by locals, Gillian has asked for people to use the community recycling centres.
“Banbridge District Council provide several facilities where people can take their household waste. I would appeal that if people are doing any work around their homes over the Easter holiday period, or at any time for that matter, that they would take care to ensure any waste is disposed of correctly in the appropriate recycling facilities.”
Councillor Hamilton reiterated this message: “It is unacceptable. We have one of the best amenity centres in Northern Ireland and there is no excuse for this fly tipping.”
The cost of cleaning up after waste dumping can be particularly devastating for individual landowners and Councillor Hamilton said: “I pity the person responsible for the land as it’s not their fault this has happened. The litter will be difficult to clear as it is on a very steep bank and someone could easily get hurt.
“Different people have tried to clear the area up over the years, with washing machines and other items being removed from the site by local people, but they have lost heart as it just keeps on happening.”
Councillor Hamilton added: “I would advise that the fines for ‘fly tipping’ are made extremely high. These people should ask themselves ‘would you like rubbish dumped at your back door?’”