Naughten launches clamp-down on illegal dumping

The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten, has announced the projects nationwide that have been approved for funding under his department’s 2018 Anti-Dumping Initiative (ADI).

The projects in question will vary in what is a multi-pronged approach to spread awareness, improve enforcement and upgrade surveillance.

In his announcement, Minister Naughten said: “Under my department’s initiative, people across the country are empowered to take action against those in society who commit criminal acts against their communities, by wilfully and irresponsibly dumping their waste and spoiling the most valuable asset we have – our natural environment.

“The 2018 anti-dumping work programme builds on the success of last year. A wide range of clean-up and restorative projects led by community, environmental and sporting groups have been approved for funding.

“Successful applications have included projects that will equip authorities with the latest enforcement technologies, including overt and covert surveillance equipment and drone technology to target dumpers.”

The scope of the projects includes:
  • Clean-up operations – removing illegal waste from across the country;
  • Household bulky waste initiatives – mattress/couch amnesties;
  • Awareness campaigns – social media campaigns and radio;
  • Preventative measures – installation of signage and fencing;
  • Surveillance operations – CCTV, drone and trail surveillance;
  • SMART enforcement equipment and resources for waste enforcement officers.

“The aim is to reduce illegal dumping by providing funding for projects tackling the problem and to develop an integrated and effective combined approach with local authorities, communities and other state agencies,” added Minister Naughten.

“Since the introduction of this scheme last year, I have provided €3.3 million to local authorities in every county in the country to respond strongly to the challenges that those who choose to dump in our communities poses to the health, wellbeing and economic development of their own friends and neighbours.”

By the end of this year, over 400 anti-dumping projects nationwide will be completed, the minister added.

The battle is well and truly on to catch and prosecute those who are committing environmental and economic treason by dumping waste illegally across our countryside, roads and rivers.

“Our communities are central to the success of the Anti-Dumping Initiative. While they are the victims of this crime, they have demonstrated through their active participation with this initiative that they are not prepared to surrender their beaches, mountainsides, parks or streets to those amongst us who don’t take responsibility for the waste that they produce,” Minister Naughten concluded.

Projects

This year’s ADI includes a national pilot project undertaken by Sligo County Council aimed at tackling and addressing the source of illegal dumping through an eircodes investigation.

The aim of this project is to create and maintain a register of how households are managing their waste in order to facilitate the process of trying to deal with illegal dumping, the burning of waste and unauthorised waste management.

Funding is also being made available to support the Connaught/Ulster Waste Enforcement Regional Lead Authority in undertaking research on crime in the waste sector in Ireland.

This will involve an overview of the scale, cost and impact of waste crime in Ireland – including an assessment of illegal dumping as well as identifying the socioeconomic and other factors leading to illegal dumping activities.