The ‘war is lost’ on dumping in Laois, with Laois County Council having to appoint private contractors to tackle litter blackspots.
At today’s council meeting several members said the battle has already been lost, and agreed that outside contractors will have to be brought in to deal with badly littered areas.
In his monthly management report to the meeting, CEO John Mulholland confirmed that tenders have been returned for the operation of Portlaoise Civic Amenity Site, including public tipping areas, which had previously been operated under two separate tenders.
The instances of littering in the county were described as “acts of environmental vandalism against the people of Laois,” by the CEO.
It was agreed that a special discussion will take place on how to tackle the scourge of littering at their next council meeting.
Mr Mulholland said the Department of the Environment is running a fund and Laois will be making an application for funding to tackle litter through that.
However, he said this shouldn’t be taken as a sign that they are authorising such dumping, and measures will be discussed as to what can be done to tackle it.
Cathaoirleach Cllr Tom Mulhall said it is not possible for the local litter wardens to deal with the level of dumping going on.
Cllr Jerry Lodge said the level of dumping would discourage any prospective industrialist who went to have a look at the countryside. He said they need to ensure they pursue those who are dumping. “Instead of a carrot approach, we need to use an ould stick now,” he said.
Permanent cameras need to be used in the fight against dumping, Cllr James Kelly said. He added that people know when mobile cameras have been moved away, and then dump in that area.
He said in one area of the bog near Coolrain, a dead calf had been dumped which the council had to deal with.
“We have lost the war on litter. It’s rampant. It is a serious situation and to get it under control is going to take a lot of funding,” Cllr Kelly said.