Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Questions (65)

Niamh Smyth

Question:

65. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the actions he is taking to assist county councils deal with incidents of illegal dumping and fly tipping; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21718/19]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

My Department has introduced a number of measures to strengthen efforts to improve waste enforcement generally and target illegal dumping. These include:

- An annual waste enforcement grant of €7.4 million to support the recruitment and retention of 150 local authority waste enforcement personnel across the country;

- The establishment of the Waste Enforcement Regional Lead Authorities;

- The establishment of a National Waste Enforcement Steering Committee which facilitates more co-ordinated multi agency operations taking place on a regional basis.

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.

I recently announced funding of €3 million for the 2019 Anti-Dumping Initiative, an increase of 50% on last year, to support communities around the country to continue to tackle illegal dumping. Innovation, surveillance using drones, special collections for awkward items like mattresses, spreading awareness among young people and recognising the work of volunteers will play a role in this year’s campaign.

There will be a special emphasis on targeting dumping blackspots and illegal operators. Since 2017, the Anti-Dumping Initiative has supported the removal of some 5,000 tonnes of illegal waste from some of the country’s most notorious fly tipping black-spots and approximately 50% of this year’s funding will go towards continuing to tackle this problem.