Fly tipping plague in Laois.
Tougher anti-dumping laws are needed to get to grips with fly tipping and other dumping across Laois and other midland counties, a Laois TD.
Laois County Council has confirmed that nearly 35 tonnes of rubbish has had to be removed from 20 blackspots around the midland county since the beginning of the 2013.
Sinn Féin TD Brian Stanley TD raised the problem in the Dáil.
“Stronger laws and an all-out effort by society is required if we are to get to grips with the upsurge in illegal dumping in Laois and across the Midlands.
“Several areas in Laois and beyond are destroyed by illegal dumping and much of this is being caused by householders who don’t bother arranging a waste collection service. But there is also illegal dumping by bogus household waste collectors adding to the problem.
"I raised this issue again with Minister Naughten in the Dáil Environment Committee this week. Illegal dumping is destroying the good work being done by Council staff, Tidy Towns Committee’s and local groups. Our environment and the image of our countryside are being badly damaged. There is also a huge financial cost to the public to cover the clean-up operation on road sides, bogs and in scenic areas," he said.
The TD said solutions are needed to tackle this problem before it gets totally out of hand. He said this would require reducing the growing volumes of waste being produced, increasing penalties for those engaging in this disgraceful activity, and ensuring householders have the legitimate means of disposing of waste.
He said he introduced the Waste Reduction (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2017 in the Dail which would go some way in addressing this issue. He said other political parties should support the changes contained.
"It proposes a deposit return scheme which would have waste recycling units in public places to accept plastic, aluminium and glass containers. These units would issue a receipt for returns which could then be redeemed in shops. Schemes like this operate across Europe. This Bill provides also for substantial increases in fines for illegal dumping and provisions on litter.
"The other main sections of my Bill compel landlords, including Local Authorities and housing agencies to ensure that their tenants have a legal means of disposal of waste. The alternative is that landlords could provide this service.
“Such legislation coupled with an all-out effort by Local Authorities, Gardaí and the public is necessary if we are to end this blight on our countryside,” he said.