EVERYTHING from “a needle to an anchor” has been found by locals in the Woodenbridge area of South Laois who have decided to employ CCTV to catch prevent dumpers.
More than 15 people turned out on two occasions over the past two weeks, each time filling a dump trailer full of litter.
“We filled a dump truck each at Boston Bridge and at Woodenbridge when we went litter picking and both groups spent over three hours each time at it,” said Michael G Phelan.
Littering in the area was brought up at a community alert meeting when locals decided to tackle the problem. Laois County Council provided gloves, litter pickers and signs, as well as access to the dump for the clean up.
As well as groups going litter picking, there will be CCTV cameras put up in the area to catch people in the act. The CCTV cameras have been sponsored by a local business, Brian Galvin Tyres.
So far one local man has been caught dumping litter by the community alert group and the Gardaí are pursuing the matter. The group will be putting up signs in the area as well as the cameras, but people will be out litter picking regularly as well.
“The man that was caught lived locally for a while, but there is so much litter that you couldn’t say it was any one person. The people that are doing it definitely know the area well though,” said Mr Phelan, who is Chairman of Woodenbridge Community Alert.
During the clean up the locals have found an extraordinary variety of material, from bottles, cans, bread wrappers and eggshells; to old fridges, chairs, couches and TVs.
“We’ve everything from a needle to an anchor here. There was even a full set of very good china that the women picked up here the other day,” said Mr Phelan.