Plans to address historic dumping sites in the Ward River Valley and additional resources to clean up the Ward River through the town, were committed to by Fingal County Council this week.
At an area committee meeting on Thursday, officials from Fingal agreed to work through and prepare a response to a list of 40 outstanding items relating to historic dumping and litter in the Ward River Valley, prepared by the Swords Pickers group.
In addition, the council committed to providing contractors to engage in regular river clean-ups with a focus on the area through the town from the Ward River Valley park to the Balheary pitches.
Cllr Ian Carey said:
“It was a postive move to deal with something that has been a real sore point for a long, long time.
“The issues of historic dumping in the Ward River Valley is something that people who know the area well, know is a really big problem. Domestic dumping in the area going back many years that wasn’t dealt with at the time is right there, in some cases below the surface and in some cases in plain sight. We are talking about bags of rubbish and in some cases rusted vehicles.
“Despite an increase in resources for clean-up in the area over the last year and a half, we are still struggling to put a real dent into these older sites. During covid there was an increase in dumping and litter in our parks and the operations teams were doing their best to manage that but as we move back to a more normal situation we need to start working thorugh these long neglected dump sites.
“Big credit is due to the Swords Pickers group who have been documenting and reporting these issues over the last number of years and whose work will hopefully be an effective workplan to help resolve this problem.
“It’s also very positive to see a commitment to add resources to cleaning up the rivers. It is such a visible part of the town and it sends out a terrible message when we allow the rivers to remain clogged up with shopping trolleys, bins, and other debris. While the commitment is to look at six monthly or quarterly clean-ups I would be hopeful that we can increase that based on the volume of material picked up, especially in the summer months when the river is more accessible.
“I was very happy to bring forward this motion and help increase the resources going to maintaining the Ward River Valley – its a really beutiful area, its critical for biodiversity, for people’s well-being and its the lungs of the town. It deserves the investment and attention we see in other places.”