Still no action on Armagh waste 


The article below was written on 13 January 2014, and will remain here as a reminder of inappropriate waste management practice and neglect by decision-makers.

In July 2015, things have changed. The bins shown below have gone, and there is now a roadside collection service.

But there is still a big problem. What is it?

It is a system that does not produce maximum recycling and resources recovery effort.

Read the article that I presented to Clare & Gilbert Valleys Council in June 2015 prior to the decision to change the waste collection system.

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"Take control of your actions" headlined Northern Argus (8 January 2014).

Here it goes again. Same problem, same issues, and still NO ACTION.

What is the issue? Look at the photo.

Armagh community waste bin (3 Jan 2014)

And in this article A Waste Problem Persists is a detailed background and SOLUTIONS about the whole matter.

What is really going on … or not going on?

What is the problem?

Look at that Northern Argus headline again - "Take control of your actions".

ACTIONS. Of course, everyone should observe this, but the reality behind the story is that action on waste management has to be initiated by the local authority. And for Armagh residents, action on all the right things has been missing

Why do I say this? Because the problem has been known for at least 13 years and nothing has been done about it!

Read on to discover why.

Let's look at a bit of history 

In that Februrary 2013 article I wrote that by 2010 there were at least 40 new houses that had been constructed during the period from 1999 (the year that I resided in greater Armagh).

Today (January 2014), there are about 50 houses that have been constructed in Armagh in the past 15 years.


Armagh community waste bins, 2 Jan 2010

Go back to the email I sent on 6 May 2008 to a senior officer of Clare & Gilbert Valleys Council.

*A long-running sore - waste at Armagh* 
As one who is much involved in waste management, I'm trying once again a suggestion to resolve the deplorable state of waste collection at Armagh.
On a number of occasions during the past 7 years I have suggested to Council and senior officers that a "neighbourhood" resources recovery/waste transfer station be installed. It is simple. Sorting at "source", recovery, and recycling have to be implemented. Attached are several photos of mini systems that are successfully operating in other Council areas. These are not expensive to establish, and will produce many benefits (I won't describe them here).
I hope this type of system will be given consideration at Armagh - it's desperately needed. The stuff that's going into those two bins is a disappointing reflection of the community.

Remember, this is 2008! Let's go back further.

In an open letter dated 11 December 2006 to the newly-elected councillors of Clare & Gilbert Valleys Council, I wrote about many contemporary issues, and posed a number of questions. 

One part of the letter about waste management included the following:

About 6 years ago I suggested that Council staff examine the feasibility of establishing small community (or neighbourhood) waste management centres that would provide for resources recovery and recycling, particularly in areas such as Armagh. Given the recent letter (September 6) to Council from Armagh Community Association Inc. about the possible changes to waste collection in Armagh, I reiterate my original suggestions. An appropriate model could be developed and may stand a good chance of attracting external funding. What is Council's view on local waste management centres? What is its waste management plan?


The response from the CEO of the day? 

...Council discussed the content of the letter at a workshop on Wednesday 14th March. Elected members formed the view that the issues you raise are of an operational nature and therefore they chose not to provide a specific response.

Now, granted there were many other important matters that I raised in my original letter, but surely the issue of waste management was deserving of a much better response than NO RESPONSE?

This was 2006!

The Armagh waste issue is not new, and I've been trying for years to get some sort of action.

The reader might think - what really is going on?

It has become a futile exercise trying to get action on what should be a relatively small issue. It's a real "head-scratcher"!

Other matters

The Northern Argus article raised a couple of other concerns.

Illegal dumping

People will continue to do this if a good waste management service, properly set up, and properly respected, is not available. Educate, and behaviours will change.

Not far from the Armagh bins in a watercourse on Hicks Road, some unthinking person has dumped this.

It's difficult to see all the rubbish in this image at the right, but the fact that it has been dumped is an indication of "idiot" behaviour combined with a failed waste policy.


Sorting at the point of collection is the way to go. Is what's presented in the following images so complicated? 

… or this? … 

These sites are at small rural resource recovery stations in the Coorong District Council that I was involved in some years ago.

It's not difficult. And it's certainly not expensive to set up.

Waste Management Is Not Rocket Science!

As one who has been extensively involved in waste management for more than 30 years both as a local government engineer and as a consulting engineer, it is very disappointing that simple solutions keep getting ignored. 

Community education is what is needed. Action and change are needed.

The issue is also not about COST. It is about NOT TAKING AN OPPORTUNITY.

The solutions and the opportunities are here.

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