One of the many instances of flytipping in Laois
It cost almost €300,000 to clean up and enforce laws on illegal dumping in Laois in 2017.
New figures from Laois County Council outline exactly where the costs of cleaning up illegal dumping lie.
There has been numerous reports of illegal dumping across the county in 2018 and an RTE investigates documentary recently revealed the biggest case illegal dumping on a special area of conservation (SAC) ever in Laois.
In 2017, the cost of illegal dumping in Laois, cleaning it up and taking cases to court came under four headings.
The cost of collection of illegal dumping cost €12,209 in 2017. The cost of collection and disposal of illegal dumping cost €26,577.
A huge chunk of the cost for the years was for Litter Wardens and Enforcement Staff which came in at €232,907 for the year. The legal costs of bringing cases of illegal dumping to court was €14,564.
This adds up to a total of €286,259 to collect and dispose of illegal dumping, pay litter wardens and enforcement staff and following up with legal enforcement.
Speaking at the May meeting of the Borris-in-Ossory/Mountmellick Municipal District meeting, Director of Services at Laois County Council, Donal Brennan said that Senior Executive Engineer for Environment, Orla Barrett, recently had a successful court case against an illegal dumper who was caught on CCTV.
“There was a substantial fine against them, we do take action,” he said.
In April 2018, Laois TD and Minister Charlie Flanagan said that the €66,700 was pledged to tackle illegal dumping and litter management in Laois.
Overall in 2017, litter management, street cleaning and enforcing waste regulations cost Laois County Council a huge €1 million.
The litter warden service, litter control initiatives, environmental awareness services and service support costs were €312,000.
Street cleaning which included operating street cleaning services and provision of litter bins cost €370,000 in 2017 while waste regulations, monitoring and enforcement cost €370,000.
A waste management plan in 2017 cost €7000 to prepare but there is no budget for a plan in 2018.
In total, €3.2 million was spent on environment services in Laois in 2017 with a decrease budgeted for 2018 to €2.7 million.