The Minister for Rural and Community Development and TD for Mayo, Michael Ring TD, and the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten TD today announced a €2 million crackdown on illegal dumpers.
Minister Ring said: “Illegal dumpers are not going to have it easy from now on. The €2 million fund which I announced today with Minister Naughten will support the use of smart technology such as CCTV, drones and satellite imagery in order to catch and prosecute fly tippers.
"The fund will equip local authorities with the SMART enforcement tools necessary to combat this problem and support communities to clean-up dumping black-spots. I urge Mayo County Council and local community groups to apply for funding and to come forward with projects and initiatives that will turn the tide on this despicable practice."
The funding for the Anti-Illegal Dumping Initiative has increased from €1.3 million nationally last year to €2 million this year. Last year €29,946 was allocated to county Mayo which was used to fund the removal of 222 tonnes of illegally dumped waste from public and private lands, walking routes and areas in close proximity to special areas of conservation in Mayo while Mayo County Council also utilised these funds to purchase CCTV surveillance equipment to target those committing these crimes against the environment.
Mayo clean-up projects supported by Anti-Dumping Initiative 2017 included: (1 ) Clean Up of Blanemore Forest Archaeological Walk, Carnclogh in Foxford (2 ) Clean Up of Ballyglass Looped Walks (3 ) Clean Up of Dookineely (Calvy ) Achill Island.
Minister Ring continued: “I am proud that the response in Mayo has been so positive, that three problem sites have been addressed and that the measures have been put in place to guard against a reoccurrence of this activity. I am glad that Minister Naughten has increased the allocation this year, making €2 million available nationally to build on the momentum that has now been created and to put an increased emphasis on identifying and initiating enforcement actions on those who facilitate the unauthorised movement and disposal of waste.
Minister Ring encouraged voluntary and community groups in Mayo to engage further with the local authority in developing anti-dumping initiatives: “Communities in Mayo were central to the success of the Anti-Dumping Initiative in 2017: these communities are the victims, reporters, witnesses, sources of intelligence and partners in the clean-up and control of a site after it has been cleared. Community groups that engage in local clean-ups have been the bulwark against those who engage in this deplorable practice. We owe them a debt of gratitude. Last year I provided a once off allocation of €1.4 million to Tidy Towns groups around their country to support their voluntary work to make their communities better places.”
“There can be no ambiguity about illegal dumping. Anyone who engages in it is a disgrace. They are a blight on rural Ireland. It is often left to decent members of the community to go out and clean up after these reprobates.”
The deadline for applications is Friday, March 2 and further information on the 2018 anti-dumping initiative is available from the Waste Enforcement Regional Lead Authorities and from the Environment Section of Mayo County Council.