Illegal Dumping

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 1:30 pm on 7th December 2020.

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Photo of William Humphrey William Humphrey DUP 1:30 pm, 7th December 2020

I thank the Minister for her answer. Over the summer, some 200 tons of illegal rubbish was dumped at Edenderry industrial mill on the Crumlin Road in my constituency of North Belfast. That led to a plague of rats, a swarm of flies and noxious smells, with people feeling and taking ill. Belfast City Council was too slow in its response, and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency was somewhat secretive in passing information to and sharing information with elected representatives. The situation simply was not good enough, and it took an intervention from the Minister to resolve it. I ask the Minister, in responding for her colleague Mr Poots — to whom I, too, sent my regards for a speedy recovery this morning — what more the Department, working with local councils, can do to ensure that, if such a situation arises again — sadly, it is happening more often in Northern Ireland — there is a more effective and speedy response.