With only 45 per cent of litter fines being paid last year, the Galway City Council needs to move away from a punative approach towards one which addresses the causes of littering.
This is the view of People Before Profit Galway City Central candidate Joe Loughnane, who believes the “privatisation of waste collection” and the rising prices which have accompanied it, have resulted in the increasing problem of household waste being illegally dumped. As a result, People Before Profit is calling for waste collection services to be brought back into public ownership under council management
“Households cannot afford the rising costs of waste collection,” said Mr Loughnane, “especially at a time when so many expenses such as rent are rising while wages are stagnant.”
PBP is also calling for an increase in recycling facilities such as bottle banks, as there is a shortage while the existing ones are “too often full up”. “The people of Galway have shown they will use the recycling facilities if they are available,” said Mr Loughnane, “but due to the shortage it can be difficult for people to bring their recycling to the nearest location. This leads to increased amounts of waste that could be recycled going to landfill or being dumped illegally.”
Mr Loughnane says it is important that the council begin to work with shops and supermarkets on reducing unnecessary packaging. “We need to shift the focus from the consumer onto the producer, and put pressure on producers to reduce it.” he said.