An irate ratepayer has hit out at Mid Ulster District Council’s decision to stop recycling paint at its smaller recycling centres.
In a letter to the Mail the ratepayer said he has been recycling paint at Maghera, Castledawson, Draperstown and Bellaghy centres for over the past ten years.
“Now I am informed by staff paint must go to Magherafelt,” he said. “
“I am informed by staff it is to save with council costs. Why do I pay my rates?
“With planned sculptures of £46,000 planned for the Diamond in Magherafelt, shouldn’t the council be more concerned with the ratepayer recycling?”
The reader, who does not want to be named, said he had noticed paint now being dumped at the gates overnight at the sites.
“Surely this is a major environment issue? Can the council now clarify if these sites are being downgraded for closure in the foreseeable future.”
A spokesperson for the council said at present there are no plans to close any of the smaller recycling centres.
“Due to the introduction of a new contract there has been a 100% increase in the previous cost of recycling waste paint which is simply not sustainable,” said a spokesperson.
“As a result, the council has prohibited the acceptance of paint at the Maghera, Castledawson, Draperstown and Bellaghy sites and restricted the acceptance of paint to the main recycling centre in Magherafelt.
“The same approach applies for the Cookstown and Dungannon areas where paint is only accepted at the main recycling centres for each town (Cookstown Recycling Centre and Drumcoo Recycling Centre.”
She added that any waste paint deposited outside the gates of any recycling centres will be treated as illegal dumping.
SDLP Cllr Martin Kearney, who sits on the Environment Committee, said he had not been aware of any issues relating to the prohibition of paint, which was one of a range of measures discussed.