Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Questions (65)

Niamh Smyth


65. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment his plans to assist county councils deal with incidents of illegal dumping and fly tipping; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14013/19]

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Oral answers (2 contributions) (Question to Communications)

How does the Government intend to assist local authorities as the problem of illegal dumping and fly tipping is getting progressively worse? Our countryside is littered because of it. I have a number of offices across my constituency and it is one of the main complaints I hear. People are personally affronted because such an effort is made by our local schools and young people in the area but we still wake up on a morning after people have intentionally dumped bags of rubbish in a housing estate. This happened in Bailieborough recently.

They know the local authority has to address it but, unfortunately, the local authorities do not have the resources.

Illegal dumping is a matter of individual responsibility and compliance with the law. While enforcement action in this area is a matter for local authorities, my Department encourages a multifaceted approach to tackling the problem, incorporating enforcement, public awareness and education. As such, it provides funding to support the activities of the waste enforcement regional lead authorities of approximately €1 million per annum and of the network of local authority waste enforcement officers of approximately €7.4 million per annum.

In addition, my Department has developed the anti-dumping initiative to work in partnership with local authorities and community organisations in identifying high-risk or problem areas, developing appropriate enforcement responses, and carrying out clean-up operations. Since 2017, funding of €3.3 million has been made available from the environment fund in this regard, which has supported more than 400 projects in all 31 local authority areas, remediating blackspots, and equipping local authority enforcement officers with the latest technologies available to support enforcement of our waste laws.