Littering and illegal dumping continues to be serious problem across Ireland.
In attempt to crackdown on fly-tipping across the country, a campaign of ‘smart enforcement’ is to be launched.
Covert surveillance including the use of drones is to form part of a new plan, along with the use of satellite imaging and more CCTV at locations prone to illegal dumping.
Around €2m has also been allocated by Environment Minister Denis Naughten for the recruitment of more enforcement officers at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), according to the Irish Independent.
The problem of fly-tipping has grown steadily in recent years with Dublin City Council alone spending €670,000 and €640,000 removing illegally dumped rubbish in 2014 and 2015 respectively.
However, it is hoped the deployment of drones to capture video evidence of illegal dumping in cities and remote locations will deter offenders.
The Department of Environment believes this concerted effort and the ‘smart enforcement interventions’ initiative in particular, will prove a key resource in the battle against fly-tipping.
“My message is clear – if you dump waste illegally and blight our countryside and roads with filth you will be caught and prosecuted,” Mr Naughten said.
“The use of smart technology will be able to identify those who engage in this deplorable practice,” he told the Irish Independent.
“I am confident the new initiative that I am introducing will prove effective in both deterring and catching illegal dumpers and I am encouraging community groups across the country to come together to apply and benefit from it,” he said.
Funding for extra enforcement officers will be available to community groups and state agencies who will work in partnership to clean up and prevent illegal waste dumping.