People who have loved ones buried at Carnmoney Cemetery have called on the council to take action following illegal dumping at the site.
The problem of fly-tipping at the Prince Charles Way cemetery was highlighted just days after the council vowed to step up security at local cemeteries in response to a spate of thefts from parked vehicles over recent months.
A skip located in Carnmoney Cemetery East, which is used for the upkeep and maintenance of the site, has been filled with household and general waste. Rubbish has also been dumped beside the skip in a car park and has become an eyesore for those coming to visit loved ones’ graves.
One man whose mother and father are both buried in the cemetery, close to where the dumping is taking place, has been left disgusted. The man, who wished to remain anonymous said: “These people need to take a look at themselves and realise the extra hurt and sadness they are causing to people. There is a new recycling centre on the O’Neill Road, so I don’t see why people are having to come here to dump their waste - I’m disgusted. I have family members coming over from Holland in the summer and we will visit the grave together. I don’t want them having to see rubbish like this so close to the grave. People need to show more respect. The longer nights are coming in and unless the council does more to stop anti-social incidents in the cemetery, the problem will only get worse.”
The dumping has been condemned by Cllr Stephen Ross. The DUP representative said: “I utterly condemn the dumping in the cemetery. Some people are showing a complete lack of respect to come to the cemetery for other reasons than to visit the graves of loved ones.
“I visited the cemetery and witnessed that the skip, which is in place for the upkeep of the cemetery, is being used as a dump.
“Our council has invested a large amount of money in a recycling centre which is no more than 500 metres from this point and still some people think this is acceptable - well it’s not.”
A spokesperson for the council said: “Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council is aware of the public dumping household waste in the Carnmoney Cemetery skip. Cemetery and Environmental Health staff are working together to identify those who are dumping household waste.
“Council would like to ask the public to refrain from dumping household waste in the skip and encourage them to use the widely available council facilities to dispose of household waste and maximise recycling.”