How is Dublin City Council planning to deal with litter from now to 2022? Officials and councillors have drawn up its draft litter-management plan for the coming years, and voted at January’s monthly meeting to send it out for public feedback.
Measures include increasing the number of handcarts in operation, raising awareness about the QR tags with which the public can alert the council to overflowing bins, and maintaining and improving the stock of public litter bins, the report says.
Other proposed measures include increasing the number of bottle banks and textile banks in the city, and trialling compartmentalised waste and recycling bins at selected public spaces and areas, the report says.
During the meeting at City Hall on Monday, Independents 4 Change Councillor Pat Dunne said he thought that litter management suffers in the city due to a lack of cooperation between the waste-management department, which deals with on-street bins, and the parks department, which deals with bins in parks.
“I don’t see any reason whatsoever why the parks section should be responsible for litter collection in the parks,” he said. Giving overall responsibility for all bins to waste management would be better, he said.
Simon Brock, a council administrative officer, said that could be dealt with in submissions, but that the two departments do cooperate. “We have absolutely no difficulty doing that.”
Fianna Fáil Councillor Deirdre Conroy said she wanted to bring up the issue of people dumping rubbish in rivers. In particular, in the Poddle. “I don’t understand how the illegal dumping is not being dealt with, and how fines aren’t affecting people to stop them doing this,” she said.
Dumping rubbish in rivers isn’t something that waste-management staff can address directly, said Brock. But they do assist volunteer groups and action groups who work on the waterways, he said.
Movement on Iveagh Markets
Late last year, developer Martin Keane applied for permission to redevelop two sites, centred around the Iveagh Markets and the nearby Mother Redcaps Markets on the edge of the Liberties.
But that isn’t stopping Dublin City Council from pressing ahead with moves to repossess the old markets building.
The old markets were first leased to Keane in 1997, but “legal issues” meant the formalities weren’t completed, said a 2004 council report.
Councillors voted again to lease it that year, giving Keane 36 months to redevelop it “except in case of delay due to strikes, lockouts or other circumstances outside of the control of Mr Keane or his nominee”.
But it’s still empty, and a more recent survey of the condition of the building found it was “unsafe and in an advanced state of dereliction”.
Keane and the council’s head of planning, Richard Shakespeare, have gone back and forth by letter in recent times over what should happen next with the markets, and who owns it now.
On 23 December, Iveagh Markets Hotels Limited applied for permission to redevelop two sites either side of Lamb Alley in the Liberties, drawing in the Iveagh Markets, and the former Mother Redcaps Market.
The first site is made up of the Iveagh Markets building and two nearby plots and buildings. Plans include a market area, distillery/brewery, restaurant and bakery in the markets building. The nearby plots and buildings would be made into a four-star hotel.
The second site, made up of vacant homes at 1a and 2a John Dillon Street and the old Mother Redcaps Market, would be used for a three-star hotel, and hostel. It also includes a portion of the old city wall. The scheme includes an external street market, too, the application summary says.
At Monday’s meeting, Shakespeare said the planning application is currently going through a process to see whether it’s valid.
In a report to councillors, Shakespeare noted that Keane had lodged the planning application without the council’s consent as land owner. It is “untrue” that Keane has the freehold interest as it says, Shakespeare’s report says.
At issue has also been whether or not Keane has the funds to develop the site. “The documentation provided to date does not satisfy the council that he has secured the appropriate funding,” Shakespeare said in his update to councillors.
The council has written to Keane to tell him it is terminating all communication with him, the report says. “And that it is taking the necessary steps to repossess the property from him.”
“The council will defend this action in the courts if necessary,” says Shakespeare’s report.
Doing Up Inchicore Library
Also on Monday, the full council voted through plans to refurbish Inchicore’s library, an old art deco building built in the mid-1930s, which sits overlooking Emmet Road.
(The council’s Central Area Committee had backed the refurbishment in June, sending it up to the full council for approval.)
The main aim of the project is to improve access to the library, the report says. Works including demolishing the entrance steps and gate, and putting in a new access ramp and steps system, and a platform lift.
The council plans to add bike parking, the report says. The plans also include refurbishing the library building itself – adding an extension to the back, with a staff office, toilet, canteen, and multipurpose room.
The works are being funded through development levies.