400,000 bags of waste collected
Sofas being collected by a Pure Mile truck on the Dublin uplands

400,000 bags of waste collected

REDUCING illegal dumping is hard to do, but the Pure Project has had great success in collecting some 400,000 bags from the Wicklow/Dublin uplands – enough to cover the road from Dublin to Dingle.

The Pure Project is a multi-disciplined approach in combating illegal dumping through education initiatives, community projects, public awareness campaigns, clean-ups and preventative measures.

In 2021, the Pure Project removed over 800 individual dumping sites in the scenic uplands area with the collection of over 144 tonnes of illegally dumped waste.

Pure has made great strides in reducing fly-tipping in the area, seeing a 67 percent reduction in illegal dumping when compared to their busiest year in 2008, when they removed 440 tonnes.

An environmental project at its core, part of the project is the Pure Mile initiative, which encourages communities and groups living in rural areas to adopt a mile and keep that area free of rubbish.

Last year, Pure Mile groups pulled 4,000 bags of litter out of the uplands through community clean-up events and litter picks.

Another way in which illegal dumping is combated is with the use of the Pure Truck, which is on the road every day collecting rubbish.

Since the launch in 2006, the Pure Project has cleared 3,690 tonnes of rubbish from over 13,200 illegal dumping sites in the uplands areas with the project accounting for 14,500 reports.

To put those statistics into perspective, if you were to put all the rubbish that Pure has removed into standard household rubbish bags, they would fill 400,000 of them.

Lined up on the road, 400,000 rubbish bags would stretch from Dublin to Dingle.

Manager of Pure, Ian Davis, highlighted that despite the project recording a decrease in dumping, this is not echoed throughout Ireland.

“Illegal dumping is not unique to the Wicklow/Dublin uplands, however, while most regions in Ireland are currently reporting an increase in illegal dumping, the Pure Project is seeing a decrease,” Mr Davis said.

“We’re the first project of its kind in Ireland and the success of Pure is based on a multi-stakeholder approach, with a strong emphasis on collaboration and cooperation between all of the organisations involved in the project.

“However, it is extremely important that we do not become complacent, because if we do, it won’t take long before illegal dumping will be on the increase.”

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