Council cost of litter clean-up is ‘colossal’

by Ian Begley

South Dublin County Council has spent about €7.2m on the removal of litter and illegal dumping last year – a decrease of €1m from 2013.
The figures, which are in response to a motion tabled at the March County Council meeting, state that in 2014 €3.2m was spent on cleansing/illegal dumping, €2.8m on estate cleaning and litter removal, €880k on litter warden services, €23,000 on anti-litter campaigns and €315,000 on environmental awareness.
These figures are down by €1m in 2013 when the total cost on the removal of litter and illegal dumping stood at €6.2m.
In 2013, €2.8m was spent on cleansing/illegal dumping, €2.2m on estate cleaning and litter removal, €880,000 on litter warden services, €46,000 on anti-litter campaigns and €330k on environmental awareness.
Cllr Louise Dunne (SF), who requested these figures, told The Gazette that the problem with illegal dumping is worse than ever.
She said: “A lot of communities have seen a huge increase in illegal dumping and austerity has had a huge impact on this well. There are people out there who have to choose between putting a dinner on the table for their family and buying a bin tag.
“It costs €30 a month for our bins to be collected and it’s a colossal amount of money for people living on social welfare to be paying. On the other side you have people who seem to not give a damn.
“There are many litter blackspots right across the county, where you will find hazardous waste and dead animal carcases. Even when the community are proactive and do clean-ups they can’t deal with this type of waste because it’s hazardous,” she said.
Clondalkin’s Cllr Francis Timmons (Ind) also commented on this issue saying: “Dumping is a huge issue around the whole of Clondalkin. We have particular problems around Bawnogue and north Clondalkin. I got a call recently from a resident from Oatfield who told me that bags of rubbish were dumped overnight on the green in front of the estate.
“The cost of the clean-up is colossal. All of that money could be better spent on youth facilities and community initiatives and it’s a terrible shame that this type of activity still goes on.
“I think some people are dumping illegally out of badness, but I think other people are just genuinely stretched so much that they can’t afford to pay their bin charges,” said Cllr Timmons.
Meanwhile, a local resident from Clondalkin contacted The Gazette, complaining about the increasing problem of overflowing bins, fly tipping and public alcohol drinking along the Grand Canal at the Nangor Road entrance.
“It’s a disgrace and a shame to see the amount of rubbish people throw along the canal and it’s also a disgrace that there isn’t a more serious response from the council and the contractor responsible for keeping the canal route clean and maintaining it on a regular basis.
“I was in Denmark last year and was amazed at the level of respect people there have for their environment. All the public amenities are spotless as are the many cycle tracks and walk ways throughout the countryside and islands,” she said.

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