Louth Sinn Fein Councillor Antóin Watters and Newry, Mourne & Down District Councillor Mickey Larkin have been plagued with illegal dumping in their respective sides of the border, both reporting an increase especially in the dumping of toxic materials like tyres and building rubble.
In July of last year they submitted motions to their respective Councils, Louth County Council/Newry Mourne & Down Council, on the need for co-operation and a cross border approach to tackle illegal dumping.
At Wednesday’s Memorandum of Understanding Joint Committee Meeting a Cross Border Anti-Dumping Project was approved which is a huge step forward in bringing about a significant reduction in the unacceptable social, economic and environmental harm caused by illegal dumping.
The project will also see increased collaboration between all relevant bodies and organisations within the two jurisdictions, to ensure the best outcome for the environment and local communities. Cllr Watters said “this is a massive step at reducing illegal dumping in our areas and we are delighted to see a concrete action plan being put in place.
“The action plan will include joint clean-up operations, awareness campaigns, GDPR Data Sharing Agreement, preventative measures, joint surveillance operations and the installation of smart enforcement technologies in dumping hot-spots.
“Be under no illusion, it is you and I as the tax payer who are picking up the tab for these criminals who have no regard for our countryside. Well that money is now going to be invested in being pro-active in stopping this activity rather than reactionary and cleaning up after them.”
Cllr Larkin welcomed the project saying, “This is what we have been advocating for and working towards. Rural areas are the prime target for dumping in areas such as Slieve Gullion and Turf Mountain, Edentubber.
“The Slieve Gullion area has the highest level of fly-tipping in the North and Cooley and North Louth has possibly the highest level in the South. This project will enable these areas to be monitored and the information shared between all relevant bodies.”
Sinn Féin has worked hard for the local communities in the border region and warmly welcome this project and look for to it coming into effect in the next few months.