Illegal dumping complaints rise by 43 per cent
By Aideen O'Flaherty
COMPLAINTS in relation to illegal dumping in the county rose by 43 per cent this year, which has led one local councillor to call for the reinstatement of State-controlled waste management as he claims the privatisation of waste management “has created a culture of illegal dumping”.
Figures released by South Dublin County Council this month show that 4,680 complaints were lodged last year in relation to illegal dumping, whereas the figures for complaints in 2017 climbed to 6,703.
These complaints cover issues raised in relation to litter, illegal dumping, unauthorised signage and dog fouling.
In 2016, 436 fixed penalty notices were issued for littering offences, while in 2017 that number reached 544.
However, there was also an increase in the number of cases of littering which were referred for prosecution – 151 cases were referred for prosecution in 2016, while this year 177 instances were referred.
There has been a significant number of community clean-ups in the county, 205 were held in September, in October there were 240 and in November there were 252.
In relation to the increased number of litter complaints in the county, Sinn Fein councillor for Clondalkin, Mark Ward, said: “Privatising waste management has created a culture of illegal dumping.
“You only have to take a walk around some of the litter blackspots in Clondalkin and you will see the detrimental impact that it is having on our area.
“Earlier this year I had a motion passed to return bin collection to council control.
“This motion was passed but as it’s an executive function nothing happened.”
When speaking about unregulated waste collectors, Cllr Ward said: “Unscrupulous unregulated waste collectors are also operating across the county.
“These collectors will collect waste but will not dispose of it correctly. There are parts of Clondalkin that are regularly used for this activity.
“I would warn residents that are disposing of waste to use only licensed and regulated operators.
“I have had residents onto me embarrassed to welcome loved ones’ home for Christmas due to the amount of illegal dumping in their estates – this is the reality of the effect that this behaviour has on our areas.”
South Dublin County Council has stated that there will be ongoing foot patrols by the litter warden service, with particular emphasis on county towns and villages, and they hope to curb illegal dumping with the use of existing CCTV and audio devices, and the council will purchase additional new equipment and technologies for deployment in 2018.