Almost €60,000 has been allocated to tackle illegal dumping in Westmeath by Minister for the Environment Denis Naughten, with a further €19,000 pledged to crack down on litter, dog fouling and graffiti.
The aim of this funding is to reduce illegal dumping and nuisance litter by undertaking a wide range of projects to tackle the problems. The idea is to develop an integrated and effective approach with local authorities and communities working together.
Projects nationwide will include clean-ups, removing illegal waste from across the countryside, household bulky waste initiatives, awareness campaigns, preventative measures including the installation of signage and fencing, surveillance operations with the use of CCTV, and increased resources for waste enforcement officers.
The allocations have been welcomed by Longford-Westmeath Fine Gael TD, Peter Burke.
“There are some real litter and rubbish blackspots across both Athlone and Mullingar, so this money is very welcome,” Deputy Burke said.
“Littering is environmental sabotage but money alone cannot solve our litter problems. It takes a behavioural change across the board, and I am confident the awareness campaigns that will be funded through this scheme at a community level in Athlone and Westmeath will have a real impact.”
Deputy Burke commended the dedication shown by local community and voluntary groups in tackling issues like littering and illegal dumping.
“I want to pay tribute to the passion, energy and dedication of hundreds of local community and voluntary groups, school children and teachers who are taking their civic responsibilities seriously every single day here in Westmeath. Through the many anti-litter initiatives that they drive across our communities for the preservation of our environment, our local tidy towns group does Trojan work and this funding will complement the volunteerism seen on a weekly basis,” he commented.
A wide range of clean-up and restorative projects led by community, environmental and sporting groups are being planned in Athlone, including at River and Willow Park and Grace Park Road.