News & Media

Labour Bill crucial in fight against illegal dumping

5 March 2021

Statement by Senator Mark Wall
Spokesperson on Defence, Tourism and Sport

Labour Senator Mark Wall brought a landmark Bill to the Seanad which would allow the use of CCTV in prosecution of offences relating to illegal dumping. The Local Government (Use of CCTV in Prosecution of Offences) Bill 2021 comes as a result of the increase in illegal dumping in Irish country sides. Launching the Bill, Senator Wall highlighted the need for a common sense approach on this issue. 

Senator Wall said:

“One of the very few positives of this lockdown has been the number of our citizens who are out walking and exercising within the 5 km limit that is in place at this time. However this increase in exercise has also lead to the realisation by so many of what we are doing to our environment.. What people are seeing in greater numbers is simply environmental vandalism.

“The simple fact is that illegal dumping is out of control. The problem is not confined to our remote beautiful countryside, although the problem there is at its worst. This problem can be found on the main streets of our cities, the main roads through our towns, as well as every secondary road and laneway in our country.

“This Bill would allow the use of CCTV by our local authorities to facilitate the prevention, investigation, detection and prosecution of an offence of illegal dumping. There can be no doubt that CCTV can be and is one of the most effective tools in the fight against the blight of illegal dumping.

“The figures involved in the clean-up of this vandalism are mind blowing. 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 were are wasting on average €90 million per year on clean ups.

“Of course this figure does not include the many volunteer hours that so many groups and individuals put in each year in trying to keep their localities clean. While I want to praise these volunteers who give up their time to do litter collections and clear illegal dumping, we simple should not tolerate littering of any kind in this country.

“What we need are detections and prosecutions of those who simply feel they are above the law. This Bill is the first, and the most important step, in the fight back. The use of cameras at these locations will prevent dumping if this Bill passes - it is as simple as that.”