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It’s Not In our Nature – Is it in Yours? Tackling Illegal Dumping

The ‘It’s not in our nature, is it in Yours?’ campaign to tackle illegal dumping was delivered in 9 counties in the Connacht Ulster Waste Region over the summer.  The campaign was coordinated by the Connacht Ulster Waste Enforcement Regional Lead Authority (CU WERLA) and funded by the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment to support the ongoing efforts of Local Authorities in cleaning up illegally dumped waste material.

To date, numerous clean ups have taken place. Sean Scott, Regional Coordinator of the Connacht Ulster Waste Enforcement Regional Lead Authority, says, ‘Our overall aim is to eliminate unsightly illegal dumps and further protect our environment both in rural and urban settings as well as engaging with the public to ensure that areas remain clean once clean-ups have taken place. Significant costs are associated with cleaning up illegally dumped waste and there is an onus on all citizens to dispose of waste in the correct manner.  Going forward, it is hoped that the use of technology including drones as well as overt and covert surveillance equipment will become more effective and act as a deterrent’.

He also pointed out that Byelaws are being introduced in every Local Authority across the region in relation to the regulation storage, presentation and collection of household waste.   The bye-laws govern a range of issues, including obliging consumers to participate in an authorised waste collection service (or provide documentary proof on what alternative means they use to dispose of their waste) and encouraging greater segregation of waste to reduce volumes of residual waste collected. 

The importance of a clean green environment is critical in terms of making our region a better place in which to live, work and do business.

Suzanne Bogan, Waste Awareness Officer, of Donegal County Council, said, ‘As part of the campaign over the past number of months we have targeted dumping black-spots to remove illegally dumped material. To date we have removed 51.95 tonnes of material from locations in Ray, Falcarragh, Glassagh, Carndonagh, Magherabeg, Fahan and Desertegney, Buncrana’.

Further support has been given to community groups to assist in combating in illegal dumping and by supporting a number of Men’s Shed groups to facilitate the upcycling of Bulky Goods.

Availing of an unlicensed waste service to dispose of waste is a criminal offence. Customers should request to see service provider documentation to ensure compliance and permit number details should be visible on all collection vehicles.  Members of the public and householders need to be aware that each individual or business is responsible for their waste.  The Connacht Ulster Waste Enforcement Regional Lead Authority also commissioned a video to raise awareness around the issue of bogus unauthorised waste collectors.

Suzanne says ‘We’re very grateful to all the very responsible householder and community minded people who do the right thing – who dispose of their waste correctly using authorised waste collectors, the extensive network of bring banks and the public and private Civic Amenity Centres located throughout the region. However, there is still a cohort of people who are irresponsible in disposing of their waste which ultimately results in small- and large-scale illegal dumps and to those individuals we appeal to cease this activity’.

A dedicated website called mywaste.ie is available to assist householders with the management of waste, for example providing details on what can and cannot be recycled, recycling, bring bank locations, civic amenity site locations etc.

For further information please contact:

Suzanne Bogan, Waste Awareness Officer, Donegal County Council on suzannebogan@donegalcoco.ie or check out mywaste.ie

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