Hazardous waste dumped in estate

By Kieran Hughes

Illegal dumping of asbestos and other hazardous materials in a burnt out factory in Newtownabbey is becoming a serious environmental and safety concern for local residents. The former fish factory in Dandy Street in Bawnmore was targeted twice by arsonists last November. Since then illegal flytippers have been using the site to dump industrial materials like asbestos pipes, fibreglass and canisters of liquid silicone.

To gain access to the site the culprits have broken padlocks bought by a local residents group themselves to try and secure the site. The Bawnmore Residents Association are calling for the site to be properly sealed by Newtownabbey Borough Council before someone is seriously injured and more dangerous materials dumped there.

“The community is just fed up with trying to secure it and paying for padlocks out of our own pockets,” said chair of the association Seamus Kelly.

“God knows what people are living near, these materials are dangerous and whoever is dumping them just doesn’t give a damn about the people living here. There are proper places for dumping waste but this seems to be a cheaper option for whoever is doing this.”

Seamus said there were concerns that children can easily access the site.

“We are now coming in to the good weather and kids are trying to get into the site and the sooner it is secured the better.”

Newtownabbey Sinn Féin councillor Gerry O’Reilly urged anyone who spots any fly tippers to report it.

“The dumping is putting lots of people in the local area in danger,” he said. “Anyone found to be illegally flytipping needs to be formally prosecuted and face the courts.”

A spokesperson for Newtownabbey Borough Council said they have contacted the owner of the property.

“The owner is responsible for securing the site, the removal and proper disposal of any illegally dumped materials that are on the site,” she said.

“The Northern Ireland Environment Agency is the body responsible for enforcing the legislation regarding illegal dumping of this type of waste and the Council has raised the ongoing situation with the Agency.”

 

Please follow and like us:

Tags: , , ,