SOUTH Belfast SDLP Councillor Gary McKeown has called for action as residents face renewed misery over "mountains of waste" in parts of the district.

The problem is a regular occurrence at this time of year as students move out and landlords prepare their dwellings for a new intake in September.

Cllr McKeown said: "Residents in areas such as Stranmillis village, Holyland and lower Lisburn Road are at their wits' end at the appalling fly-tipping that is taking place.

"I am absolutely livid at people having to face mountains of waste outside their own homes. Some of the examples I have dealt with have been frankly unbelievable until you see them. This is no way to have to live, so we need firm action to tackle it.

"Every year we see the fly-tipping plague reach fever-pitch in July and August with house clearances, but just because it happens regularly doesn't make it right and doesn't make it acceptable. It is causing misery to residents and is a health hazard. 


"The disregard for neighbours by some tenants and landlords, and the expectation that council staff will clean up after them is completely out of order. I want to commend council staff who do a fantastic job at clearing this waste, but they shouldn't have to do it.

"We are rightly putting a focus on the challenges faced by our city centre in terms of cleansing and safety, but it is important that we also take proactive steps to deal with similar waste and cleansing issues in pockets of our suburbs.

"I have written to the council Chief Executive and the departmental Director seeking a meeting to examine how we can beef up the response to these issues, including looking at targeted investigation, enforcement and prosecution to deal with those responsible and send out a clear message that it has to stop."

Meanwhile, Alliance councillor Micky Murray has said that residential communities in South Belfast have been neglected for decades.

"People are rightly concerned with the state of the city centre in recent weeks, but residential communities in South Belfast have been neglected and ignored for decades," he said. 

"Belfast City Council do a great job at reacting to the fly-tipping and dumping, but we need a more proactive approach which involves input from landlords and those living in their properties.

"Nowhere else in the city would you get streets of people moving out at the same time every year, with every house being cleared and the contents dumped into the alleyways.

"Tenants have reported that landlords threaten not to return their deposits if they don’t clear the houses, but landlords have also been caught on camera by local residents dumping large household items such as beds and fridges.

"Everyone in this area has a social responsibility to dispose of their waste appropriately."