I thank the Minister for his reply. I want to impress on him the importance of this matter. As he stated, this is a major problem for local authorities. These items are bulky and are not things that can be put into the bin. It not like garden waste that can be put into the green organic bin and moved on to be recycled that way. Last year was one of the worst years for fly tipping and illegal dumping on streets and in back alleys, ditches, bogs, forests etc. My understanding is that the cost of the scheme last year was relatively small. The Minister might tell me what that cost was. When the then Minister announced the scheme, I remember the figure was fairly modest. The scheme, however, was a huge success.
In County Laois, more than 800 mattresses were gathered up under this initiative. There is a high cost if these items are dumped in ditches or bogs. The local authority has to pull things like mattresses out of drains, ditches etc. Hiring contractors to deal with that situation costs the local authority greatly. The National Transport Authority spent €730,000 picking up litter along motorways. That is another example. We also need to look at side-by-side competition in the collection of waste in an estate. It is not feasible for many households to dispose of a couch, an armchair or a mattress. Will the Minister consider broadening the scheme this year to include such items?