The Galway City Council will spend more than €53,000 this year cleaning up illegal dumping.
The local authority initiative is part of a nationwide drive to highlight and tackle the issue which is becoming a growing problem for both city and county councils.
This year €600,000 will be spent by local authorities in Connacht Ulster cleaning up sites containing illegally dumped material. Galway City Council has been allocated €53,263.
A schedule of clean-ups will take place over the summer months in areas including Sliabh Ban in Ballybane and the Dyke Road.
Both a clean-up and awareness campaign will take place in Westside. This will include engaging a consultant to complete a door-to-door survey.
A number of mattress amnesty events will also be held throughout the west. The Minister for Communications, Climate Action, and the Environment, Denis Naughten has set aside €61,500 for the 22 such initiatives which will be rolled out later in the summer.
Man with a van
Gary McMahon of Galway City Council said the authority was grateful to all responsible householders and community-minded people who do the right thing – who dispose of their waste correctly using authorised waste collectors, the extensive network of bring banks, and the Civic Amenity Centre at Liosbaun.
However, there is still a cohort of people who dispose of their waste irresponsibly, he said. Some make little parcels of their domestic rubbish and put it into the city council bins on the streets. Others get rid of office waste illegally. More give it to a "man with a van", often unscrupulous collectors who do not bring the refuse to landfill or recycling facilities.
"It is down to individual householders to ensure they have their waste removed properly," he stressed. "This anti-dumping initiative with Minister Denis Naughten applies to both rural and urban spaces. The particular project we are running in Westside is one we ran in Ballybane last year. We will be looking at what needs to be done and how we can encourage people to comply."
At times, there are "horrible" littering incidents, where people throw rubbish over ditches, as has been reported in rural parts of the city, such as Tonabrocky and Letteragh, he said. "People make contact with us and we, at considerable cost, [to the authority] remove it."
Illegally disposing of rubbish results in small and large scale illegal dumps, he outlined. "To those individuals, we appeal that they cease this activity. Householders are being alerted to the fact that they are obliged to provide evidence of where they dispose of their waste and can be held responsible and fined for illegal dumping. Householders should retain receipts as proof."
The importance of a clean, green environment is critical in terms of making the region a better place in which to live, work and do business, said Sean Scott, the regional waste enforcement co-ordinator.
"Our overall aim is to eliminate unsightly illegal dumps and further protect our environment both in rural and urban settings as well as engaging with the public to ensure that areas remain clean once clean-ups have taken place."
He said significant costs were associated with cleaning up illegally dumped waste. "There is an onus on all citizens to dispose of waste in the correct manner. I also welcome the Minister's support for a mattress amnesty. Householders should contact their local authority for details of mattress amnesty events that are taking place."
Members of the public are being called upon to continue to play their part by ensuring to dispose of waste responsibly using a permitted service and to take the time to report sightings of illegal dumping to the local authority or through the Environmental Protection Agencies reporting app SEE IT, SAY IT at www.epa.ie/enforcement/report/seeit/