Councils across Ireland have joined forces to tackle the rise in illegal dumping during the Covid-19 pandemic.
As reports of illegal dumping jump by 40% in some areas, people are being warned that they face fines or imprisonment if they are caught being responsible for, or involved in, the unauthorised disposal of waste.
Donegal has also seen a recent upsurge in illegal dumping and fly-tipping in rural areas.
Complainants are reporting a number of illegal dumpsites being discovered in streets and byroads, hills and bogs, at public amenities and in private housing estates across the country.
In response, the Department of Communications, Climate Action and the Environment (DCCAE) has ring-fenced €1 million of the 2020 National Anti-Dumping Initiative allocation for measures that will stop this activity and catch the perpetrators.
Sean Scott, Coordinator for WERLA, Connacht Ulster Region, “The situation is being monitored continuously on the ground with specific incidents and patterns of illegal activity being investigated thoroughly. Investigations will lead to fines and possible prosecutions.
Mr Scott advised, “Household waste services are operating normally. We are asking householders to please use an authorised waste collector or their local civic amenity to dispose of household waste.” He also advised that leaving waste, including recyclables, on the street close to waste collection amenities is considered illegal dumping.
“Now, more than ever, we need to protect our environment and manage our waste responsibly. Illegal dumping destroys our communities and it will result in fines or prosecution,” he said.
Persons who are found to be responsible for, or involved in, the unauthorised disposal of waste are liable to a maximum fine of €5,000 on summary conviction and/or imprisonment for up to 12 months, and to a maximum fine of €15 million on conviction on indictment and/or imprisonment for up to 10 years.