Clare County Council has announced it is increasing its monitoring of illegal waste activity such as fly-tipping, backyard burning of waste and illegal waste collection after it successfully brought three cases against individuals at Ennis District Court.
The Council last week secured three separate prosecutions in East and West Clare in relation to the illegal disposal of waste. The Court imposed heavy fines and awarded costs to the Council, averaging over €2,000 in each case.
Clare County Council says Waste Enforcement staff have expanded their inspections and patrols in areas vulnerable to illegal dumping to night-time and weekends. Enforcement work is carried out regularly and in conjunction with other local authorities, the Gardaí and other state agencies, while the Council also is utilising CCTV surveillance to detect illegal waste activity.
“Clare County Council, Ennis Town Council and Kilrush Town Council have made good progress in recent years in counteracting illegal waste activity,” explained Robert Burns, Executive Engineer. He warned, however, that illegal dumping and fly-tipping of waste remain a problem in the County.
“The three Councils want to send out a clear message to anyone involved in illegal waste activity that they will be pursued to the fullest extent possible under the law and, if detected, could be subject to a fine of up to €3,000 and a prison sentence of up to 12 months if found guilty at the district court,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Council is reminding the public that it is illegal to give their waste to an unauthorised collector, as persons involved in the collection of waste must have a valid waste collection permit.
“If a member of public has doubts concerning a waste collector they can contact Clare County Council. The burning of household waste, or so-called ‘backyard’ burning, is also against the law. Complaints received by the Environment Directorate are followed up on by a site visit by the Patrol Warden, leading to resolution on site and/or warnings (verbal and written)/issue of fines or legal proceedings. Initial investigations may also lead to further visits to sites by Engineers or Scientists and to the issuing of enforcement notices,” explained Robert Burns.
As an alternative to using an authorised collection service, householders can bring their household waste to any one of the 5 recycling centres at Ennis, Shannon, Inagh, Lisdeen (Kilkee) and Scarriff operated by Clare County Council. The Council also operates a network of 53 bring bank sites throughout the county that typically accept glass bottles and drinks cans. Please check the Clare County Council website www.clarecoco.ie for further details on the location of facilities, their opening hours and types of waste accepted.
Clare County Council’s dedicated multi-disciplinary Waste Management Enforcement Team, which was established in May 2004, continues to police and prosecute breaches of the law. Activities undertaken include the use of closed circuit television or CCTV at sites vulnerable to illegal dumping, the tracking of suspect waste vehicle movements, and the use of aerial surveys to detect illegal dumping and backyard burning in in both rural and urban locations. The Local Authority also employs Environmental Patrol Wardens, who monitor illegal waste activity throughout the County.
The Council also is encouraging members of the public to report illegal waste and litter activity, which can be done through the anti-litter hotline (1800 606 706 or 065 6846331), by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, in person at an Area Office or at the Council’s head office in Ennis, or by letter to the Waste Enforcement Section, Transportation, Water Services and Environment Directorate, Áras Contae an Chláir, New Road, Ennis, Co. Clare.
Ennis and Kilrush Town Councils are litter enforcement authorities for their own areas and members of the public in those areas can make contact directly with their respective Town Council with regard to waste and litter issues. For more visit www.ennistowncouncil.ie or www.kilrushtowncouncil.ie.