Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Waste dumping dilemma for Kilcullen Tidy Towns

Following recent issues in Kilcullen regarding dumping of household waste at the Bottle Bank and in the bins in our playground, we encountered a dilemma, writes Ray Kelly, chairman of Kilcullen Community Action/Tidy Towns Group.

When the waste from the Bottle Bank was examined, some personal details were found, including a local address and a name from a letter and more — likely identifying where the waste came from. Nothing in the evidence gave any details of the type of person or their private or personal circumstances.

However, when the waste from the playground was examined, there was a lot more personal detail. The owner’s name and address, email and phone number. A Christmas card to a young child, a notebook with a lot of family detail. Further items indicated medical issues which the person may have had, while another letter contained confidential financial details.

The dilemma was whether to report the details of the playground waste to the relevant authority to process and perhaps issue fines? Would a fine have the same impact on each of the probable owners? Could a fine push a person with a serious medical issue over the edge? Although the dumping of domestic litter in general bins is not allowed, it is not major crime …

In the end no action regarding the playground waste was or will be taken. However, it is the policy of Kilcullen Tidy Towns to hand over such evidence in normal circumstances to Kildare County Council’s Environment Department.

The other lesson to take from this story is that, even when disposing of waste properly, people should be careful about how they dispose of very personal and sensitive correspondence.

(Note: Bag shown above is for illustrative purposes only, not one of those mentioned.)