‘We need to make an example of people who are illegally dumping’

Calls have been made for the Government to publish a list of the illegal dumping prosecutions that have been made.

Speaking on the latest episode of FarmLand, the chairman of the Irish Farmers’ Association’s (IFA’s) Environmental Committee, Thomas Cooney, welcomed the fund recently announced by the Government of €3 million to be made available for the purchase and operation of drones to survey illegal dumping.

On the show, Cooney noted that the IFA had “a major anti dumping campaign” after Christmas and appealed to the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and the Environment, Richard Bruton, at the lobby group’s AGM for additional funding to be given to the issue.

The environmental chairman said: “We need people to be made an example of.

We’re getting calls from all over Ireland where farmers are having literally trailer loads of rubbish being dumped in their fields.

“There needs to be people made an example of and a hefty fine put on them to use this as a deterrent,” he added.

“The drones and the other enforcement measures will help to catch them and hopefully there will be more boots on the ground.”

A strong record

Commenting on farmers’ commitment to recycling, Cooney explained: “Farmers have a strong record when it comes to recycling waste streams. Each year, over 25,000t of silage bale wraps, fertiliser bags and meal bags are recycled right across the country.

In 2018, the IFA worked with the Department of Environment to recycle the equivalent of over half a million car tyres – and we want to work with Government to finish this job and recycle other waste streams.

Cooney concluded by reiterating: “This increased funding is to be welcomed. The success of the additional measures announced must also include further prosecution of serial dumpers.”