Local MLA John McCallister has expressed concern that fly-tipping could dramatically increase in Rathfriland when the town’s recycling centre temporarily closes.
Banbridge District Council has said essential maintenance work needs to be carried out at the centre at Iveagh Park, meaning it will be forced to close for almost three months until October 13.
Mr McCallister said he fears the temporary closure, to allow for essential maintenance, will lead to more rubbish being illegally dumped.
He said, “I contacted Banbridge Council’s Technical Services department and voiced my concerns asking if alternative skips could perhaps be placed outside the gates. However, I was told this was not possible due to regulations.
“Furthermore I suggested placing additional bottle and clothing banks at existing locations in the town, but I was assured that the existing banks will be emptied more frequently, therefore negating the need for more which would eat into car parking space.
“However, I do feel it is grossly unfair and inconvenient to ask people to travel to alternative sites at Banbridge and Dromore for almost three months.”
Mr McCallister has been reassured by the Council that if illegal dumping does occur, the Council will make every effort to identify those responsible and prosecute.
A spokesperson for Banbridge Council said: “The Council understands that this closure could be an inconvenience to users; however the council will service recycling banks situated in the Rathfriland area on a more regular basis to allow residents to utilise these more effectively during this period.
“Banbridge District Council would like to take this opportunity to apologise for any inconvenience the site closure may cause, however the new improved site will offer a better service to users once maintenance is completed and we also wish to thank residents for their understanding in this matter.”