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Belfast waste bin that has not been emptied in three years

By Rebecca Black

Published 09/06/2015

Eyesore: the overflowing, unemptied bin
Eyesore: the overflowing, unemptied bin
Local resident Andrea Best with her two-year-old daughter Kelsie-Jo
Local resident Gordon Clarke

This bin has not been emptied for almost three years - because no one can agree who owns it.

It is overflowing with dog dirt, beer cans and even has grass growing out of it.

Local man Stephen Lundy claimed that the bin, on a green space at the corner of Canning Street and Clanmorris Street in north Belfast, has not been emptied in more than two-and-a-half years.

The north Belfast man has been on a mission to finally get it cleared, but he has been passed from pillar to post.

Following inquiries by the Belfast Telegraph, it is now understood that the Northern Ireland Housing Executive owns the bin and that representatives for the body will empty it today.

Mr Lundy told this newspaper that he had believed the bin was owned by Belfast City Council, but when he contacted the council they directed him on to Groundwork NI, only for Groundwork NI to allegedly refer him back to the council once more. Next, he tried his luck with the Department of Regional Development, but they also redirected him back to the council.

Mr Lundy blasted the bin as "toxic" and claimed it was becoming a danger to local people.

Yesterday morning, local residents passing by the eyesore agreed with Mr Lundy and expressed frustration that the bin had not been emptied in such a long time.

It was a particularly sore point that the grass around the mess was regularly cut while the overflowing bin was ignored.

Deputy Mayor Guy Spence, who represents the area on Belfast City Council, said he understood local residents' frustrations and hoped the issue would be resolved,

"I sympathise with the residents and share their concerns about it becoming a nuisance and annoyance," he added.

"I would be very much supportive of the residents' attempts to get this situation resolved and see if we can get a positive outcome."

Mary McIntyre (64), who lives in the area, said the bin had been in a poor state for as long as she could remember.

"I would worry that it is becoming a health hazard," she added. "There are a lot of bees and other insects buzzing around it. There are alcohol tins and even cement in it. Kids play in the area so this is not a pleasant thing to have around.

"It already smells and as the weather gets warmer that smell is going to get worse and worse."

Gordon Clarke (64) said he found it unbelievable that people had cut the grass around the bin while leaving the bin itself overflowing.

"Whoever is maintaining the grass must be well aware of the state of it," he added.

"As long as I can remember, the bin has been left so long that it actually has grass growing out of it.

"There is a bench right beside it, but who would want to sit there with that beside them? Something needs to be done about it."

Mother Andrea Best (22) said she worries about her little two-year-old daughter Kelsie-Jo walking past it. "It's stinking," she added. "We have to walk past it all the time and I'd worry about Kelsie-Jo."

A spokeswoman for Belfast City Council confirmed that the bin did not belong to them and that it was not even on their land.

The spokeswoman added that the bin belonged to the Housing Executive and said she understood it would be emptied today.

The Northern Ireland Housing Executive was not available for a response.

Belfast Telegraph

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