Describing dumping as “economic and environmental treason”, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten is allocating €2m this year for a targeted crackdown on illegal dumping black spots across the country.
Minister Naughten and the Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring, launched the 2018 Anti-Illegal Dumping Initiative last Thursday (February 15 ).
Covert surveillance and smart technology, including aerial imagery from drones and satellites, as well as the installation of CCTV cameras and better enforcement and prosecution actions, will form a central part of this year’s crackdown.
The current plan builds on the success of last year’s Anti-Dumping Initiative, where €1.3 million was spent on 230 clean-up and restorative projects led by community, environmental and sporting groups across the country. More than 2.8 thousand tonnes of waste was removed from public and private lands, beaches, walking routes and residential areas.
Minister Naughten and Minister Ring announced that applications are now being accepted from local authorities and community groups for the initiative.
“Ireland is fighting back and reclaiming our rivers, beaches, parks and walkways from illegal dumpers,” Minister Naughten said. “The response to last year’s anti-dumping initiative from the public and local authorities was unprecedented. Some 230 black spots were cleaned up and measures were put in place to protect against a return of illegal dumping in these areas.
“This year, I am increasing the allocation by €700,000 - up to €2 million - to build on the momentum that has now been created and to provide for a bigger focus on identifying and prosecuting illegal dumpers. Unauthorised and bogus waste collectors advertising online or through leaflet drops will also be targeted. We’ll be encouraging householders to always ask to see a permit before engaging with any bulky waste disposal operators.”
Applications for funding are being invited from local authorities for consideration by the relevant Waste Enforcement Regional Local Authority, subject to the selection criteria developed for this purpose. This criteria includes: proposed actions that focus on unauthorised waste collectors and the targeting of ‘man with a van’ operations operating without permits and advertising online and through leaflet drops; intelligence led days of action; household bulky waste initiatives, such as mattress amnesties.
Funds will also continue to be made available to support enforcement personnel in accessing the latest ICT enforcement tools.