Escalating countryside rubbish problem must be tackled

Launching the 2011 ‘The Countryside is Watching’ campaign, IFA deputy president Eddie Downey warned that the problem with rubbish in the countryside is getting out of control.

“Farmers are reporting increasing levels of large-scale dumping in fields, woodland areas, and ditches along the roadside,” he said. “Local authorities will have to crack down on persistent offenders who choose to use the countryside to dump their household rubbish instead of paying bin charges. Threatening landowners with fines of up to €130,000 is unacceptable.”

Mr Downey said farmers and landowners will not tolerate the continued abuse of their property. “Environment Minister Phil Hogan must direct local authorities to step up their efforts to tackle people who litter, and review the existing anti-litter legislation.”

The IFA and the farm plastic recycling organisation IFFPG have launched the second year of their national anti-litter initiative amongst their combined membership of some 120,000 farmers and rural dwellers called ‘The Countryside is Watching’.

“IFFPG is delighted to be part of this campaign,” said IFFPG chairman Michael Slattery. “Farmers have a proven track record when it comes to working with the environment. Last year nearly 20,000 tonnes of farm plastic was recycled with IFFPG by farmers, exceeding the Government’s recycling targets for the sector. This campaign ‘The Countryside is Watching’ will only work, however, if each stakeholder carries out their responsibilities.

“The Countryside is Watching reminds users of the countryside to act responsibly and enjoy the countryside. They must take their rubbish home and discard it correctly.”


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