The councillors discussed the widespread problem of flytipping and waste dumping during the September monthly meeting of Birr Municipal District in the offices of Aras an Chontae, Tullamore.
Cllr John Leahy commented that in general the councillors feel that the public’s attitude to public littering is getting worse. “It looks as if things like flytipping and illegal dumping are getting worse instead of better,” he remarked. “Personally, we feel members of the public are getting more brazen and where once they were throwing coffee cups out their car window now they are throwing bin bags. There is a lot of flytipping on the approach routes to our towns. There is a lot of rubbish in our rivers, our woods and on our bogs. Part of the problem is we aren’t tough enough on offenders. We can’t name and shame them because of data protection. The courts need to get tougher on offenders. That’s the only way to deal with this. Because the fining system through the Council is not working; it’s not a sufficient deterrent. There is a cohort of people who will never change their bad habits unless we get tougher. I think we also need to install more CCTVs throughout the region.”
He added that every house should be asked how it is disposing of its waste. “Council officials should call to people’s houses and ask them for proof of how they are disposing of their waste.
“Tidy Towns groups are often contacting me about the increase of rubbish around the place. They find it very annoying and frustrating. They regularly go out picking up rubbish but they tell me they are picking up more rubbish than before, because there’s more of it now.”
Cllr Ormond agreed. “Everybody should have to show how they are disposing of their household rubbish. I am on my local Tidy Towns committee and the current situation is very frustrating. Often as I am driving along I see people casually throwing small items of rubbish like coffee cups, chip bags, sweet wrappers, out of their car windows. It’s a bad habit which many people have. Like any bad habit it is possible to change it.”
Mary Gaughran of the Council pointed out that last January the Council passed bye laws which stated that the public would be asked how they are disposing of their litter and waste. “As a result of that, we are going to send out people from the Council who will be knocking on people’s doors and asking them about their waste disposal, particularly in areas where waste operators are not operating.
“Where we have proof of illegal dumping we do initiate legal actio