New law gives Council power to tackle fly tipping with CCTV

by Rachel Cunningham
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Rachel Cunningham

South Dublin County Council (SDCC) will be given powers to use CCTV and other technologies to tackle illegal dumping and littering by identifying offenders, a tactic that was previously restricted due to data protection regulations.

Green Party TD for Dublin South-West, Francis Noel Duffy, welcomed the news, stating: “While only a minority of citizens illegally dump or burn their waste, the impact of litter and fly-tipped waste on the environment, and often our most beautiful locations, is a blight on our community.

“We need to empower the local authority, who is responsible for waste management and enforcement, to target these practices and penalise those responsible. The Circular Economy Bill, brought before the Dáil, will finally make this possible while also protecting the privacy rights of the public.”

Labour Senator Mark Wall also welcomed this development, saying: “As we look forward to the summer time and spending more time out and about our communities, I am delighted to finally see action from the government on tackling waste and illegal dumping throughout the country.”

“People need to act responsibly when it comes to litter but our communities must also be better equipped so that people can actually enjoy the great outdoors. As we enter spring clean month, many communities will be spending time and money on cleaning up after illegal dumping.

“Local authorities in Kildare, Meath and South Dublin alone are spending an average of €3 million a year on clean ups. If this is replicated throughout our 31 local authorities, then we are wasting on average €90 million per year on clean ups. Imagine how many playgrounds and community facilities like public toilets this money could provide around the country”, he added.

The Circular Economy Bill 2022 promises to bring in a suite of measures that puts into law many of the commitments the government has made in the Waste Action Plan for a Circular Economy. Transitioning to a circular economy represents a shift away from the linear waste generating model, which relies on a steady supply of natural resources to create products and packaging. 

Commenting on the bill, Minister of State with responsibility for Communications and Circular Economy, Ossian Smyth TD, said: “We have to rethink the way we consume the goods and materials we use every day. Not only are we producing inordinate levels of waste, 45 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions come from producing those goods and materials”.

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