WHAT appeared to be bags of dumped rubbish left outside Abbeyleix turned out to be the result of a major clean up in the area.
Nearly 20 bin liners worth of rubbish were collected on the Durrow road out of the town, where forestry borders both sides of the road.
Cllr John Joe Fennelly told the Leinster Express that the area has always been prone to dumping as there are a number of lane ways leading from the main road down into the bog.
“This is deliberate dumping, we walked around that area just a couple of months ago and there were black refuse bags full of rubbish. This is not coming out of cars, people know exactly what they are doing and where to dump the rubbish so that they don’t have to pay the fees for dumping,” he said.
Cllr Fennelly said that last October there were between 12 and 14 bin liners full of rubbish found in a pile in the area, a figure he said was “shocking”. He said the public must be much more active in trying to stop dumping.
“There are three litter wardens working in Laois and they are doing their living best at the moment. Locals have to inform the council or get in contact with somebody when they see dumping going on. There will have to be more from the community,” he said.
Colette O’ Rourke, senior staff officer in Laois County Council’s environment section, said that the bags collected last week were an accumulation of roadside litter that had gathered over a period of time.
“When grass dies back and hedgerows are cut, it exposes the litter, hence the clean-up,” she said.
She said that if an illegal dumping incident is reported, it is logged on the county council’s environmental complaints database. It will then be investigated by the relevant litter warden whilst out on patrol, and at their earliest convenience.
“Photographs of the bags are taken, the bags are removed and prior to disposing of same in the landfill, they are checked to establish if any evidence can be retrieved from the bags to identify the possible litter offender/s” she said.
Anyone who sees dumped in Laois can report it by contacting the freephone confidential litter hotline at 1800 323230.