Dumping in Laois, photo courtesy of Joe Kelly.
This week, Laois judge Catherine Staines stated in Portlaoise Court that "this beautiful country is being destroyed by people who don’t pick up rubbish".
The problem of litter, from bags to couches and mattresses, is plain to see across Laois, in bogs, ditches, forests, roadsides and even in the county town.
"I have never seen such dumping in the town of Portlaoise and its environs. There's a couch on the link road since last week. We have to stop this," Cllr Willie Aird at the Portlaoise municipal district meeting.
Laois County Council bought two mobile CCTV cameras last year, to cover 50 black spots, and two more will be bought this year, costing €1,000 to €2,000, but signs must go up warning dumpers they may be filmed.
Currently, leaving or throwing litter in a public place is an offence, subject to an on-the-spot fine of €150 or a maximum fine of €3,000 in court, and possibly paying the cost of clean-up and court fees.
So what do you, the people of Laois, think? Should the penalty extend to a jail sentence?