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Illegal Waste Disposal Causes Huge Expense In Belfast

Illegal waste disposal causes huge expense in Belfast

Two illegal dumps in Edenderry Industrial Estate, North Belfast, have cost both the landowner and taxpayers five figure sums to clear after weeks of protest from local residents.


The sites, located off the Crumlin Road, caused rat and fly infestations and a stench strong enough to cause serious disruption to living conditions of local residents, with some families have been forced to move out of the area entirely.

After several weeks of protests organised by Woodvale Community Response and the involvement of local politicians, the Environmental Agency and even the Health Minister, the sites have been cleared with huge expense to both private parties and the taxpayer.

The Department of Environment, Agriculture and Rural Affairs has been forced to pay the cost of clearing the smaller dump located off the Hillview Road which contained 123.48 tonnes of waste, costing the taxpayer £22,841.70.

The larger site at Edenderry Industrial Estate contained over 390 tonnes of waste, for which the responsibility of removal falls to its landowner at an undisclosed cost.


In a recent statement, Health Minister Edwin Poots attributed these illegal dumps to a “white van man” approach to waste management.

He added: “There may be some people who have set themselves up to handle waste whenever they are not registered waste handlers.

“Due process is what will bring results, by taking these people to court and having them fined and the costs charged to them for the disposal of any materials.”


OSM Environmental Consulting Waste Management expert, Micheál O’Sullivan, estimates the cost of clearing the 390 tonnes at Edenderry Industrial Estate this could be as high as £47,000 depending on the nature of the waste.

Michael explained: “Unfortunately, people may choose to dump their waste illegally due to complex waste management legislation and lack of publicly available information. Of course, these difficulties are nothing in comparison to the disastrous impacts caused by poor waste management, as seen in these sites in North Belfast.

“As the Health Minister has said, some people choose to operate waste disposal schemes illegally and undercut compliant waste carriers, which damages honest businesses.

“On many occasions, the temptation to dispose of waste illegally can be avoided completely by effective waste management consultation. Legal waste management will greatly reduce negative public image for those held responsible, as well as lessening the huge costs and potential fines incurred.”


OSM Environmental Consulting have over 20 years of waste management experience, spanning both private and public sectors, with knowledge acquired from Director and Senior Environmental Consultant, Micheál O’Sullivan’s years of regulatory expertise in his time as a regulator within the NIEA Waste Management Team.

To talk to a member of the OSM about your waste management needs, click here.

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