Council Announces Crackdown On Illegal Waste Activity

Clare County Council has announced it is increasing its monitoring of illegal waste activity such as fly-tipping, backyard burning of waste and illegal waste collection after it successfully brought three cases against individuals at Ennis District Court. The Council secured three separate prosecutions in East and West Clare in relation to the illegal disposal of waste. The Court imposed heavy fines and awarded costs to the Council, averaging over €2,000 in each case.

Clare County Council says Waste Enforcement staff have expanded their inspections and patrols in areas vulnerable to illegal dumping to night-time and weekends. Enforcement work is carried out regularly and in conjunction with other local authorities, the Gardaí and other state agencies, while the Council also is utilising CCTV surveillance to detect illegal waste activity.

“Clare County Council, Ennis Town Council and Kilrush Town Council have made good progress in recent years in counteracting illegal waste activity,” explains Robert Burns, executive engineer. He warns, however, that illegal dumping and fly-tipping of waste remain a problem in the County.

“The three Councils want to send out a clear message to anyone involved in illegal waste activity that they will be pursued to the fullest extent possible under the law and, if detected, could be subject to a fine of up to €3,000 and a prison sentence of up to 12 months if found guilty at the district court,” he says.

Meanwhile, the Council is reminding the public that it is illegal to give their waste to an unauthorised collector, as persons involved in the collection of waste must have a valid waste collection permit.

The burning of household waste, or so-called ‘backyard’ burning, is also against the law. Complaints received by the Environment Directorate are followed up on by a site visit by the Patrol Warden, leading to resolution on site and/or warnings (verbal and written)/issue of fines or legal proceedings. Initial investigations may also lead to further visits to sites by Engineers or Scientists and to the issuing of enforcement notices.

As an alternative to using an authorised collection service, householders can bring their household waste to any one of the five recycling centres at Ennis, Shannon, Inagh, Lisdeen (Kilkee) and Scarriff operated by Clare County Council. The Council also operates a network of 53 bring bank sites throughout the county that typically accept glass bottles and drinks cans.

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