CRAIGAVON Borough Council is being asked to move on the increasing amount of rubbish at the rear of terraced houses after a pile of burned-out material was dumped and set alight behind Clonavon Avenue in Portadown.
Councillor Robert Smith has claimed that the rubbish is not only unsightly, but that it constitutes a fire hazard that could have caused damage or “even cost lives in this instance”.
“I understand that the fire reached the eaves of an outbuilding, shortly after an elderly lady had just left the premises,” he said. “This is happening in many areas of Craigavon where residents are dumping rubbish behind terraced houses, instead of using the bins provided. As well as forming unsightly piles of materials, they are a fire hazard as was shown in this case and a solution must be found. There are small mountains of rubbish in certain areas.”
He stated that the tenants who dump the rubbish are initially culpable. “But these things are difficult to prove, and while the landlords, the council and the communities must bear some of the responsibility, the best way is to approach these problems in a positive manner and come up with a solution.
“The bottom line is that some people don’t even seem to understand what various bins are for. They must be educated, they must be held responsible, and if that doesn’t work, the law should be invoked. We can’t just drift on and see so many areas of the borough despoiled in this way.”
Pointing out that the pensioner and her family were deeply distressed by what had happened at Clonavon Avenue, Mr Smith went on, “The ultimate responsibility of this rests with the person who dumped the rubbish in the first place.
“I appeal for anyone who has information as to who may have been responsible for dumping the rubbish to contact the council’s environmental health department. And in the case of fire, contact the police.”