Cllr Joanna Byrne: Multi-Agency Approach Needed on Dumping

At this week’s meeting of the Joint Policing Committee (JPC), Sinn Féin Councillor Joanna Byrne called for a multi-agency approach to be implemented to tackle the growing issue of illegal dumping in Louth.

Cllr Byrne stated that her home town of Drogheda is facing an epidemic regarding illegal dumping, with levels hitting an all time high. She put it to the Chief Superintendent Christy Mangan and representatives of Louth County Council that if they can work on a multi-agency basis to tackle illegal parking, the same must be done to combat the littering and dumping that is escalating at a rapid pace.

Cllr Byrne said “My least favourite word has just been mentioned – ‘Dumping’. Let me tell you all here and now – Drogheda is out of control with illegal dumping, it is gone beyond even talking about. There is absolutely no dressing it up anymore. I am calling for a multi-agency approach to tackling this, be it introducing covert CCTV, linking current community CCTV locations to Drogheda Garda Station, an increased presence of An Garda Síochana and Community/Litter Warden’s around litter hot-spots or more emphasis in filtering through this rubbish and following up on prosecutions, but something has to be done and has to be done fast. This is now an epidemic and if the Local Authority and An Garda Síochana can work together so successfully on targeting traffic matters the same effort needs to be put into tackling illegal dumping.”

Joe McGuinness, Director of Services for Louth County Council told Cllr Byrne that they are conscious of the rise in illegal dumping and it is a growing concern for them but assured her that they were launching an awareness campaign around the issue of waste disposal and anti-dumping initiatives over the coming weeks. Whilst Cllr Byrne welcomed this she did however inform him that this “simply isn’t enough”.

Cllr Byrne said “Awareness campaigns are great but they are now, in my view, far too late. The dumping throughout Drogheda, and indeed further afield in Louth has somehow become socially acceptable. This is not acceptable to me as a public representative of this county, it is not acceptable for my constituents,  it is not acceptable to the volunteers and community groups left with the task of continuously cleaning up this dumping and it certainly should not be acceptable to the Local Authority or the Gardaí. The time has come for you both to invest in this together with resources and willpower, the time has come to get tough! Re-packaging old commitments and answers on this isn’t cutting it anymore, token gestures such as awareness campaigns doesn’t cut it anymore either, action is what is needed, and is long overdue.”

Cllr Antóin Watters Calls For Pro-Active Approach to Dumping

Sinn Féin Councillor Antóin Watters has requested that Louth County Council to explore the option of installing height restriction barriers at litter hot spots in North Louth.

Cllr Watters made the request at this month’s Municipal meeting in Dundalk following and escalation in dumping incidents around North Louth since Christmas.

Councillor Watters said “since Christmas we have had tyres and building rubble dumped which are very costly to remove. While I welcome the funding for the County from the Government’s Dept of Climate Action and Environment through their Anti-Dumping Initiative (ADI), it is not going to solve the problem.”

In April Minister Denis Naughtan TD announced Louth would receive €76,300.

Antóin Watters explained that this sum was to cover the whole county and included Carrickarnon Laneway, Ravensdale. “I spent last weekend helping in the annual spring clean at Rathcor. The spirit and pride of the community in their area was evident as it is in other areas. People who are dumping rubbish are not wanted in the area. They do not care about the people or the area.”

Antoin Watters at Rathcor Clean up

“This money from the ADI will be used up just cleaning up after these people. We need to think more long-term and be more pro-active in tackling this issue once and for all. This is a war on dumping. We need to fund initiatives like amnesties for tyres and larger items like mattresses or suites of furniture. We need to make it difficult for dumpers to drive their vans to these hotspots and that’s where the height restriction barriers would help. We could use CCTV at these spots and even drone technology.”

Councillor Watters has been liaising with Louth County Council and Coillte on an on-going basis since Christmas on this issue and said “Coillte removed a further 260 tyres from its land last week and that is eating into their already tight budget. They shouldn’t have to spend their budget or their time on cleaning up rubbish, they were established for forestry works and illegal dumping is taking them away from that.”

Councillor Watters also said “the greatest resource that we have against these people are the communities themselves. I would again appeal to people to remain vigilant. If they see anyone dumping or if they see strange vehicles acting suspiciously around litter hotspots take note of them and report them to Louth County Council.”

“This is our county, our area, our community and we are proud of it. We are not going to let people treat it like their own personal rubbish tip. The money spent on cleaning up after these despicable people could be better spent elsewhere.”

Tomás Sharkey: Dumping of Dead Cattle a New Low

Cllr Tomás Sharkey

Sinn Féin Councillor Tomás Sharkey has hit out at the dumping of dead cattle on the roadside in North Louth.

“Rassan is a rural area on the N53 between Dundalk and Culloville. This weekend we witnessed a disgusting act of dumping and endangerment of public health. Amongst the items dumped on the roadside was a dead and rotting calf. I witnessed the site. It was disgusting. The smell was putrid and bluebottles were crawling over the carcass.

“There is a lot of waste on the adjacent site. Last year the Council attempted to establish the ownership of the site and ran into difficulties. This recent event is a new low.

“I am asking everybody to be vigilant for this type of dumping and contamination.”

Rotting carcass of a dead calf

This is the latest incident in what seems to be a huge increase in dumping in County Louth. Since Christmas we have had tyres dumped on several occasions at beauty spots at Edentubber and North Louth and just recently over a dozen mattresses were dumped along a main road outside Ardee.

This latest act was despicable given the nature of what was dumped and the threat to public health is evident.

We need to stamp out this growing trend and let these people know that we are proud of our community and our County and there is o place for these sort of incidents. If anyone has any information or witnesses any kind of dumping please notify Louth County Council with as much information as possible.

 

New Green Bin Charges Compounds Illegal Dumping: Munster

Sinn Féin TD for Louth and East Meath, Imelda Munster, has criticised the decision to introduce charges for green bins saying it will lead to less recycling and an increase in illegal dumping.

Deputy Munster said:

“In Louth we have recently seen the decision taken by the CEO of Louth County Council to remove the plastic bottle bank facilities throughout the county despite the fact that they had become hugely popular and successful methods of recycling and awareness.”

“Within days of this happening the entrance charge at the recycling centre was increased. And now we have plans by waste collectors to introduce a new charge on green bin collection on top of existing waste collection charges.”

“We have already witnessed an increase in illegal dumping both in rural and urban areas, and in some cases on public streets in the middle of housing estates, and this new charge is only going to compound this problem even further.”

“It is a lazy policy which will lead to more illegal dumping and less recycling. The government planned this move two years ago but kicked it down the road when there was opposition to the plan. Despite this fact, charges are now to be introduced, with China’s decision to shut its doors to our recycling waste being used as an excuse.”

“People cannot afford another household charge. This is another charge on families which serves no purpose as it will not lead to an increase in recycling.”

“We need to address supermarket and packaging waste and ensure that materials that can be recycled by businesses and households are used in packaging, rather than materials such as plastic wrapping that is now not recognised as recyclable waste for the purpose of green bin collection.”

“Industry has a role to play here. The government can’t solve these problems by slapping yet another charge on hard-pressed families.

We cannot allow illegal dumping to become the norm – Kenneth Flood

Cllr Kenneth Flood has welcomed the passing of his motion at Drogheda Council in a bid to combat illegal dumping in South Louth.

Speaking after the meeting where it was agreed to start an information campaign to combat illegal dumping Cllr. Flood said,

“I am glad that following my motion Louth County Council has committed to increase its promotion of safe and appropriate disposal of household and other waste materials, but we elected rep’s, the public, all of us together, cannot allow the illegal dumping plaguing our towns and countryside to become the norm or to become socially acceptable”.

“All over the country local authorities are trialing initiatives such as hidden CCTV, phone app’s, posting images of dumpers etc., to try and stop illegal dumping. But in order to stop this we have to collectively shine a light on dumping and make it socially unacceptable.”

“This information campaign along with the increased presence at litter black spots by the council’s litter warden’s will go some way to tackling the problem. But to end this problem once and for all every resident of Drogheda and South Louth needs to shine a light on dumpers and report it as soon as it is seen”.

https://www.louthcoco.ie/en/Services/Environment/Litter-Control/