Litter’s Long Lasting Impact

Fly-tipping, littering, illegal dumping. Whatever you want to call it, it’s becoming a growing issue in Ennis and the surrounding areas. It’s time we all work together to speak out to stop littering. 

I want to encourage people to join me in inputting to the new draft Litter Management Plan. My submission includes the increase in resources for inspections of the 47% of households that are not signed up to a licenced waste collection service, using drones and CCTV in common dumping areas and providing more bins for dog fouling at beaches, parks and along the main roads. 

According to the Clare County Council recent management report, there are currently 197 active environmental complaints, and there were 3 large-scale illegal dumping incidents in Ennis during September but yet there have only been five fines issued.

The Waste Enforcement Unit is doing all they can under the current Litter Management Plan, but the growing environmental degradation and anti-social behaviour needs new solutions. 

They need to be given stronger powers to enforce on-the-spot fines and prosecution. New punishments for repeat perpetrators, such as the loss of driving licence for those that use vehicles to transport the waste to remote locations to dump may serve as a stronger deterrent than fines.  

I refer to the successful anti-littering campaign in Dublin City where they captured and displayed photos of dumping offenders with their faces blurred out. There are examples to follow out there for our new waste management plan.

Litter not only impacts the environment but the eyesore it creates also has an impact on tourism for the town and county. According to a report published by Failte Ireland, the high-quality environment and scenic landscapes are a “very important” factor for 80% of holidaymakers when choosing Ireland as a holiday destination.

I’m proud of my town just like so many other residents, and I don’t want the community spirit and local business to suffer because these perpetrators make our town look unclean. The health of residents, farmers and animals in the estates and villages surrounding Ennis would also concern me, increased dumping of household waste will attract rodents that can pass on diseases to our pets and us. 

Clare generates 47,000 tonnes of household waste per year of which 10,000 tonnes, which equates to 1 million black bags, are illegally dumped. In light of this my submission will also highlight the needs for awareness and education campaigns in reducing waste. The reduce waste and reduce litter approach will have a larger impact on the environment. This issue impacts everyone so please have your say in the new 2019-2021 Litter Management plan.

You can submit your recommendations for the draft Litter Management Plan 2019-2021 by Friday 19th October to the Environment Section, Clare County Council, New Road, Ennis, Co. Clare or by email enviroff@clarecoco.ie.