Post-Christmas illegal dumpers are plaguing our apartment block

Property Clinic: CCTV and proper lighting of bin shed areas are essential to deter and identify offenders

Illegal dumping can be more prevalent in developments with a high proportion of rental properties and unrestricted access. Photograph: Getty Images

Illegal dumping can be more prevalent in developments with a high proportion of rental properties and unrestricted access. Photograph: Getty Images

 

I am a director of a large apartment block in south Dublin. Every year after Christmas large volumes of cardboard boxes, bottles, old furniture, and Christmas trees are left in our bin sheds. This year was no different – with an old television thrown in for good measure! I don’t want a scenario where the bin shed becomes a free-for-all. We often have to arrange for the items to be collected at a cost to the owners’ management company.

What steps can we take to avoid this in future?

Vast quantities of waste are discarded at this time of year. The majority of owners’ management companies (OMCs) have waste collection services included in the members’ service charge. This service is traditionally for general domestic waste, recycling, composting and glass. Electrical goods should be disposed of free of charge at a certified WEEE local recycling centre, on an arranged public collection day or via an electrical retailer or bulb exchange store.

The correct disposal of electrical waste is essential to ensure the components are disposed of safely or recycled properly. Over the years I have noticed higher incidences of illegal dumping in developments that have a high proportion of rental properties and unrestricted access. A strong sense of community and civic duty seems to be more prevalent in owner-occupier developments. Those who have to pay for the dumping are those who rarely do it.

House rules

As you are on private land, the county council will not investigate this for you. Solutions to alleviate dumping would be to adequately light the areas where dumping occurs, secure access and have suitable CCTV to deter/identify the offending parties. The governing house rules as agreed at an agm should note the waste disposal policy.

The house rules should be on display in each lobby and landlords are required to have a copy of the house rules in their lease. House rules should be discussed with tenants at the commencement of the tenancy by the landlord or letting agent. The contact details for the waste disposal facility for the area should be noted at the bin shed along with clear direction on what can and cannot be disposed of.

The Multi-Unit Developments Act 2011 section 23, 11, allows for the recovery of outlays to remedy breaches – in this case to refund the OMC for removing the waste. Failure to remove dumped waste promptly will lead to more waste accumulating. Ensure that the waste removal company is licensed and provides a receipt so that if the offending party can be identified the outlay for the remedy can be recovered from them. – Paul Huberman

Paul Huberman is a chartered property and facilities manager and a member of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI), scsi.ie

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