The Litter Pollution Act and the Waste Management Act provide the statutory framework to combat littering and illegal dumping respectively. Under the Acts, the primary responsibility for litter, waste management and enforcement activity lies with the Local Authorities and the Office of Environmental Enforcement within the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
It is a matter for each Local Authority to determine the most appropriate course of action to tackle litter pollution and illegal dumping locally within the legislation provided. This includes determining the most appropriate staffing, public awareness, enforcement, infrastructure provision and clean-up arrangements in relation to litter and waste, taking account of local circumstances and priorities.
My Department continues to invest significantly in the local authority waste enforcement network under the Local Authority Waste Enforcement Measures Grant Scheme, with the intention of maintaining a visible presence of waste enforcement personnel on the ground across the State. Over €7.7m was provided to local authorities under the scheme in 2021, in order to support the recruitment and retention of over 150 local authority waste enforcement staff across the country. My Department also continues to support the ongoing enhancement of the role, capacity and responsibilities of the Waste Enforcement Regional Lead Authorities, in order to position the local authority sector to better respond to emerging and priority enforcement challenges. I am satisfied that local authorities have the necessary resources in place to continue to effectively tackle fly-tipping and illegal dumping.