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Roscommon farmer turns up at waste collection with enough cyanide to 'wipe out' the county

Published 22/11/2016

Farmer had the hazardous waste on his farm for the past 45 years
Farmer had the hazardous waste on his farm for the past 45 years

A farmer in Roscommon turned up at a hazardous waste disposal site with enough cyanide to 'wipe out' the county.

The farmer had the hazardous waste on his farm for the past 45 years and told officials he had originally bought it to get rid of rabbits on his farm.

Suzanne Dempsey, Environmental Officer with Roscommon County Council told Shannonside radio that the 4kg of cyanide was handed over by an elderly farmer. She said he had used it in the past to kill rabbits on his farm.

"That would have been common practice. The farmer had it in his shed for 45 years and had previously sought advice on how to dispose of it safetly.

"The toxic expert on the day said the amount was enough to wipe out most of the county."

She also said the farmer had the chemical well secured in containers.

Other waste products that farmers arrived with included one of the main ingredients in Agent Orange, a chemical weapon used in the Vietnam war.

The Environmental Protection Agency is currently running a series of hazardous waste disposal collection events where people can take any dangerous or hazardous waste they have have and dispose of it safetly.

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From Belfast Telegraph