Trailer loads of household rubbish and dead animal carcasses are blighting a popular beauty-spot in Cappagh.
The former Altmore reservoir site, which is popular among fishing and walking enthusiasts, has been illegal dumping hotspot since Northern Ireland Water earmarked it as ‘surplus to requirements’.
The latest incident involved the carcass of a dead calf, and about a dozen bags of rubbish. Sinn Fein Councillor Mickey Gillespie condemned the people responsible, saying they had shown a ‘callous disregard for the environment, the public, local wildlife and farm animals.’
He added he would be urging the Forestry Service and NI Water to pursue prosecutions.
The news comes just weeks after a major illegal waste dumping site was uncovered in the same area, with enough rubbish to fill 12 Olympic size swimming pools.
The Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) say this is the third dump to be discovered in the district since last autumn. A man was arrested, questioned and later released. It is believed to be linked to further waste sites, which had previously been uncovered in the Ballygawley and Sandholes areas.
The NIEA has warned that the area is being used by criminal gangs of fly-tippers.
“These incidents and their links give rise to particular concern that south and east Tyrone is being used by unscrupulous criminals to illegally dispose of waste”, said a spokesperson. “This is why we have now linked these incidents and have appealed for public help in detecting and preventing further deposits.
“We have not assessed any immediate public health implications. However, we would advise anyone who finds waste illegally dumped not to touch it, but to report it appropriately.”