Funding of €1million Available to Combat Illegal Dumping During Covid-19 Emergency

Cllr. Bobby O’Connell inset against one of the many dumping black-spots in the general Castleisland area. This shameful example in rugged, scenic Glountane. ©Photographs: John Reidy

Some €1 million in funding will be given to local authorities to combat a worrying rise in illegal dumping during the Covid-19 emergency, Fine Gael Councillor Bobby O’Connell has said.

The Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment has developed an Anti-Dumping Initiative to work in partnership with Kerry County Council and community organisations in developing appropriate enforcement responses and carrying out clean-up operations in Kerry.

Reported Rise In Illegal Dumping

“Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 crisis, there has been a reported rise in illegal dumping, particularly as people clean out their houses and sheds and are using recycling banks more frequently during the pandemic,” said Cllr. Bobby O’Connell.

“There are many environmental problems and health risks caused by illegal dumping and it is everyone’s responsibility to ensure waste is disposed of in the correct fashion.

Council Encouraged to Apply

“Kerry County Council can apply for funding from the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment until May 4th for its enforcement operations and I would strongly encourage it to do so,” he urged.

Waste removal and the installation of CCTV or other monitoring and surveillance equipment will be among the activities supported with funds from the anti-dumping initiative.

Since the introduction of this initiative in 2017, funding of €6.3 million has been provided which has supported over 700 projects across all 31 local authorities and removed 10,000 tonnes of illegally dumped waste.

€7.4M Annual Enforcement Grant

This is in addition to the €7.4 million annual enforcement grant, which supports the recruitment and retention of 150 local authority waste enforcement personnel across the country.

Announcing the funding, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Richard Bruton said that he was extremely concerned with reports of an increase in illegal dumping during the Covid-19 crisis.

A Scourge on Local Communities

“By providing local authorities with advance funding we will ensure they can respond quickly and decisively. Illegal dumping is committed by a minority but is a scourge on local communities,” the minister said.

Cllr. Bobby O’Connell can be contacted on: or on 087 22 50 177

Adding it all Up

The accumulation of the figures quoted above come to a total of over €28m of a spend on the ‘recruitment and retention of 150 local authority waste enforcement personnel across the country.’

Is that a massive sum of money wasted in light of the fact that illegal dumping is spiraling out of control. As creatures of habit, as much as any other animal, we tend to shop and drink and dump our waste in designated areas.

Legality of Cameras in a Data Protection Era

Can anyone enlighten us on the legality – in our data protection era –  of using wildlife or surveillance cameras to help in the prosecution of offenders.

There are cameras which can be strapped to trees and easily camouflaged in the usually scenic, isolated areas these people tend to pick on.

In spite of the huge sums of money being pumped into its eradication, the habits of those who destroy the countryside without a thought are carrying on regardless – and it’s only getting worse.