‘Sickening’ dumping of household items in Co Meath river near family of otters

Couch, armchairs, bicycle and bedding tipped into a tributary of the Boyne

The dumping of a large couch, two armchairs, a bicycle and office chairs as well as a large quantity of bedding has been described as "absolutely sickening" by Community Warden in Co Meath, Alan Nolan.

They were tipped into a tributary of the Boyne river at Haystown near Beauparc, between Slane and Navan and less than 400 metres from a family of otters.

He said the otters “are 300-400m from this spot, it is fantastic to watch them.”

Mr Nolan said that three years ago, “23 bags of domestic rubbish were dumped into that exact same spot. We don’t know if it is the same culprits or not.”

He said, “it is not often I’m lost for words. It is absolutely sickening to the pit of my stomach that people can do this in this day and age.”

It was reported to Meath County Council over the weekend and Mr Nolan said in addition to the danger to wildlife there is also the risk of pollution.

As well as the household and office furniture, “there is a bicycle, steel frames and a skip bag full of duvets, pillows, bedclothes and clothing.”

There is nothing so far to identify the owners or whoever did the dumping.

“I will rip the couch apart after it has been taken out of the river and maybe bits and pieces of paper or receipts will be there. I will go through it to see if there is any evidence.”

He said that if the items are recognised and people contact the environment section of Meath County Council in confidence, “we can try and work with them and try and see who the people were who dumped it and possibly get a court case or conviction against them to prevent them from doing it again.”

He says dumping is worse in Kells, Navan and the East coast at the moment but countywide there is a current issue with dumping of drums of oil.

“We are finding 5 gallon drums of oil, probably coming from a backyard garage that are not paying to get rid of it properly or someone changing their oil at home and putting it into a drum. Just to get rid of it they are driving out into the country and we have found them in rivers, in streams; it is absolutely horrendous.”

Mr Nolan also anticipates the increase in the cost of living will lead to an increase in illegal dumping.

Meanwhile Meath County Council is advertising free drop off days for mattresses this week at the recycling centres around the county.