A litter campaign focused on the cleaning up of Cork County was launched on Monday 9 September at County Hall.
The Cork County Council Environment Department, Tidy Towns Groups and the County’s 55 Cllrs came together in an effort to increase awareness, through the campaign, on litter, pollution and illegal dumping.
The €128,000 drive is all about educating members of the community on how to properly dispose of their waste, and increased usage of mobile CCTV units to catch those responsible.
The funding will also back community projects which tackle dumping head on, ranging from clean ups, signage, the installation of barriers and fencing, and improving black-spots with landscaping.
Similarly, the initiative is urging the public to report illegal dumping and not to fall victim to ‘Man with a Van’ rubbish removal scams.
They say it’s important to ensure that waste disposal operators are able to provide a Waste Permit before employing them to discard rubbish.
In 2018 Cork County Council responded to almost 2,422 incidents of littering and dumping across the County, issued 502 litter fines, and took more than 750 waste enforcement actions.
Last year the Council’s Waste Enforcement Unit also provided over 11,000 hours of CCTV footage at dumping black spots and collected more than 100 tonnes of litter, hidden amongst nature.
Speaking at the launch of the litter initiative, the County Director of Environmental Services, Louis Duffy, said the community must play their part, as enforcement alone will not make a difference.
“Littering shouldn’t be in our nature as humans, and it shouldn’t be in our nature in Cork County”
“We rely very much on communities to look after their own space, not because we don’t want to do it, but because when a community takes ownership, that’s when you start to get the behaviour that keeps the place as it should be” he said.
This year funding, in addition to a media campaign aimed at promoting long-term behavioural change, over 20,000 hours of covert CCTV footage will also be provided for.
The data recorded by the mobile CCTV units will be assessed by professionals on behalf of the Council, in an effort to detect those responsible for illegal dumping.
County Mayor, Cllr Christopher O’Sullivan, said waste management and illegal dumping is a persistent issue in Cork County.
“Everyone accepts that we have a beautiful County but one of the greatest challenges we have is trying to keep it clean.”
“It’s very much a “chasing your tail” exercise trying to tackle littering and catch those who are responsible for it.”
To report littering or illegal dumping you can contact the Council Anti-Litter Unit on 021-4285417 (9:00am- 5:00pm Monday to Friday) or the 24 hour National Environmental Complaints line on 1850 365 121.