RESIDENTS of an housing estate in Omagh have aired concerns that un-emptied bins are becoming a magnet for vermin.
Around 40 bins containing food and other waste belonging to people living in Johnston Park have not been emptied for over a week.
For its part, council has blamed its inability to service the area on cars blocking the narrow street.
Local community worker, Alice Duggan, is urging Fermanagh and Omagh District Council to address these “problem parkers” once and for all.
“The council’s bin lorries aren’t able to come up into Johnston Park because motorists are blocking the entrance. It’s now got so bad that our bins haven’t been emptied for a week,” she told the UH.
“The amount of blue bottles and flies which are attracted by the brown bins especially is just getting worse everyday.
“It’s a health hazard already and I don’t know what’s going to happen… People are very worried about rats and mice starting to congregate around the rubbish as well if it’s allowed to sit.
“We’re all really annoyed about this because the people here are paying rates the same as others in the district.”
She added, “The longer these bins are allowed to stay without being emptied the more worried we’ll all become here about the health hazards of the decaying waste that they contain.”
Nearly 20 years ago, the then Roads Service issued an order only allowing Johnston Park to be used by vehicles belonging to local residents, deliveries, emergency vehicles and those used in connection with telecommunications, street works and gas or electrical work.
However, that ban is widely ignored and the estate has become an ad-hoc carpark for workers in Omagh town centre and local students.
There are also fears that this problem could worsen if controversial council plans to remove 200 free parking spaces in the town centre are given the go-ahead.
In a statement, Fermanagh and Omagh Council said they would continue in their attempts to collect bins at a later time.
“However, this is dependent on resources which impacts on the effectiveness of other frontline services provided by the council,” it said.
“Council staff are encountering difficulties in relation to delivering the service at Johnston Park due to cars parked on both sides of what is a narrow street. This consequently restricts the ability of the bin lorry to access the homes in Johnston Park.
“The council will continue to liaise with the householders in Johnston Park to try to resolve the issues around access to the Park.”