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Dublin: 16°C Tuesday 26 October 2021

Photos: Litter-picking turf-war at Blessington Lakes leaves locals frustrated

Wicklow County Council refuses to pick up rubbish collected by locals from ESB land around Blessington Lakes.

WICKLOW COUNTY COUNCIL is refusing to take litter picked up by volunteers if it comes from ESB land – a messy situation for the volunteers who are picking up rubbish at Blessington Lakes car parks which are owned by the council and ESB.

Local volunteers have been cleaning up the six car parks in the vicinity of the lakes – some of which are owned by the ESB and others managed by the Council.

unnamed (5) Source: Brian Phelan

“I have been collecting bags and bags of rubbish, the problem is getting rubbish collected afterwards,” local man Brian Phelan told TheJournal.ie. 

“The council won’t take rubbish that comes from ESB land.”

unnamed (4) Source: Brian Phelan

In a statement, Wicklow County Council said:

“Waste deposited illegally in the council carparks is removed by Wicklow Co Co in association with the Baltinglass Municipal District Office.

Waste deposited on ESB property is the responsibility of the ESB to remove.

Phelan said this is an example of the lack of communication and described how 24 bags of rubbish were collected from the beach of one carpark last Wednesday and collected by the ESB team.

“When I asked about bringing rubbish to the Council, I was told it wouldn’t take ESB rubbish.”

unnamed (6) Source: Brian Phelan

Phelan added that many of the once beautiful car parking areas are being left to go to ruin with no grass cutting or any kind of general maintenance. “Over the years the car parks areas have become danger spots for crime.

These areas were big and lovely to visit but over the past 20 years they have been made smaller, benches and sitting have been taken away and toilets are permanently locked.. no bins. There’s no information centers or even tourist information.

A spokesperson for ESB told this website that a significant portion of the 60km perimeter around the lakes is landlocked with no direct access.

“ESB monitors the situation on an ongoing basis and works closely with all the various community groups in order to manage the fly tipping problem as best as possible.”

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unnamed (8)

Wicklow County Council said, “All reports of littering and waste reported to Wicklow Co Co are investigated by our Environmental Enforcement Wardens.”

It added that it doesn’t have any current complaints on file relating to dumping adjacent to the lake.

unnamed (9) Source: Brian Phelan

ESB said it has “a close working relationship with Wicklow County Council and all other relevant stakeholders when it comes to dealing with illegal dumping on, and adjacent to, Poulaphouca Reservoir”.

 Read: Rivers of Buckfast bottles and human excrement in playgrounds: How can Ireland clean up its act?>

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