Additional funding will enhance litter infrastructure and awareness

Local Fianna Fáil Minister of State, Deptuy Robert Troy, has welcomed an announcement from the Minister for the Environment, Eamon Ryan TD confirming an additional €5m in funding for litter infrastructure and awareness campaigns to encourage people to dispose of their rubbish thoughtfully.

As the economy reopens, and Ireland prepares for an outdoor summer, we will enjoy a much higher level of outdoor dining and socialising, and local authorities have had to increase their spending on recycling and litter facilities.

In the case of Westmeath it has recently been confirmed by the Director of Finance, Jimmy Dalton that upwards of €500,000 was spent in the last year dealing with littering and dumping issues.

“This extra funding is designed to support local authorities so we can all enjoy an outdoor summer in a pleasant environment. The funding will add more recycling and litter facilities to meet increased demand, but it’s also up to all of us to clean up our act when it comes to litter, and make a conscious effort to leave no trace.

“There has been a huge effort right across Westmeath through the Green KM scheme in cleaning up and maintaining all manner of roads. This funding will help the Council to put more initiatives and resources to keep on top of this growing problem.

“The government will also seek to harmonise the local authority response to the litter issue, to centralise procurement of materials, so that quality litter pickers, gloves, dog litter bags and bins are available. The aim will be to reduce costs, reduce duplication of effort and to harmonise the quality of product.

“As well as the €5m additional funding to the local authorities for litter infrastructure, it has also been confirmed that a further €3 million in funding will be provided to local authorities in support of the 2021 Anti-Dumping Initiative, which, since its inception in 2017 has supported the delivery of over 300 projects, many involving local community groups and resulted in the removal of over 10,000 tonnes of illegally dumped waste from our landscape.

“The government have also approved €225,000 in funding for An Taisce in support of an extended 2021 National Spring Clean programme which this year will run through the summer months due to the effect of the ongoing Covid situation on their traditional timetable.

“Members of the Irish Waste Management Association in every county in Ireland have agreed to work with DECC to develop proposals that will assist with litter clean ups in local communities.

“This will be in addition to existing efforts undertaken by local communities to deal with the litter problem and is a very welcome development. DECC will also consider what additional enforcement supports can be applied, whether legislative or financial.

“There was an upsurge in the number of volunteers in 2020 who gave their time to contribute to making their communities litter free and we should not take their efforts for granted.

“I am determined that this positive community spirit is recognised and supported and we will continue to steer investment towards programmes aimed at tackling littering and illegal dumping in a collaborative manner” Minister Troy asserted.

 

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