Fine Gael councillor, John Dolan has called on the council to hire more staff in Athlone to enforce anti-litter laws.
Addressing November’s meeting of the Athlone Municipal District, Cllr Dolan said the issue of illegal dumping and littering continues to blight the town and countryside.
He highlighted the fact that Athlone does not have a full-time litter warden, with the current warden dividing her time between traffic and litter. He said the current set-up is not working.
Independent councillor, Michael O’Brien said Athlone remains understaffed in this area in comparison to Mullingar. He agreed that a visible full-time presence on the street is needed to tackle the problem.
Fianna Fáil’s Frankie Keena commended the current warden for the work she does. He added that he believes people are hesitant to report dumping due to the fact that they may have to provide testimony in a court room.
Cllr Paul Hogan (SF ) said the council could and should be utilising CCTV more in the fight against illegal dumping, and that he would encourage its use in monitoring six to eight locations in the locality at one time for a given period.
Director of services, Barry Kehoe acknowledged that dumping and littering has been a problem for years. He said while the council has used CCTV in the recent past, the wide geographical area to be covered has made catching people very difficult.
He said a full-time warden could improve things but would not solve the problem, adding that the only means he sees of stopping illegal dumping for good is if all households are required by law to register for refuse collection. Mr Kehoe said the cost should be included with the figure for property tax.