Slieve Gullion Councillor Oonagh Magennis has said that the opening hours of Newry, Mourne and Down Council's Housing Recycling Centres (HRC) should be extended. 

Councillor Magennis has contacted the Councils Neighbourhood Services Director requesting that he introduces the next phases of these Amenities opening as soon as possible.

Cllr Magennis said,“Many people who for instance are now back at work require our Council Household Recycling Centres to reinstate Saturday opening hours in a safe and efficient manner within restrictions as society slowly returns to some sort of normality”.

She continued "My colleagues Cllr Gerry O'Hare and Cllr Barra ÓMuirí, have been inundated with queries surrounding  Hilltown and Newtownhamilton HRCs respectively, which are still completely closed.

"We understand there are some safety and staffing issues surrounding HRCs, but the massive rush straight after they were reopened has ended and safety measures should be easier to put in place with a smaller volume of people arriving at once”.

Explaining there were practical solutions to the staffing concerns, Cllr Magennis said “Those Household Recycling Centre’s that had extra staff for that extremely busy initial period could now be used elsewhere such as Hilltown or Newtownhamilton.

"After discussing these issues with Neighbourhood Services, I hope that in the coming weeks they will be in a better position to move through the recovery phases and reduce any risk to staff.

"Those members of staff who were shielding throughout the worst of the pandemic should be returning to work shortly to assist in services, this is very welcome news."

Concluding the Councillor stated,“The Bulky Waste Collection is another service that needs to be restored as soon as possible. This might  also help alleviate some of the illegal dumping going on throughout our Council district.

Neighbourhood Services Department have informed me that it is hoped that this service will be restored in a matter of weeks. It is a much used service and hopefully this will happen."

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