Portlaoise Tidy Towns at work for Clean Up Laois week 2018.
Dumping is still on the increase in Laois but so too is the community spirit to clean up the county, statistics from Clean Up Laois Week have revealed.
Over 76 tonnes of rubbish has been cleaned from Laois countryside already this year, almost 10 tonnes more than was gathered from ditches, roadsides and bogs, from April to December 2017.
However community involvement has also risen to combat the dirty crimes.
As the final Clean-Up Laois Week bags are gathered up this week, Laois County Council has revealed that 150 groups registered to volunteer clean-ups, well up from 110 groups last year.
“This initiative has grown year on year, thanks to communities and our sponsors, AES. Our Litter Wardens have been out picking up the remaining bags, and this work will be finished next week. We don’t have the tonnes of waste collected yet, but we would expect it be higher than previous years,” a spokesperson said.
Donal Brennan is Director of Services for environment.
“I congratulate groups for Clean-Up Laois Week. Our bane in the whole issue is we clean up and them someone comes back and we must clean up again. We are increasing our efforts,” he said.
Dumping cars is also an issue. Nine cars were reported abandoned to the council in one day in April.
Cllr Tom Mulhall was involved in the clean up in his Emo area, and said some bags were burnt.
“As expected, a huge volume of stuff was collected, bags all stacked up. Unfortunately some was burnt. The council’s environment section did great work. Not only did they collect bags but they hired contractors to collect mattresses, beds, headboards, fridges, all left in different locations to collect. Unfortunately Clean Up Laois is only once a year, but Tidy Towns will do great work cleaning up areas,” he said at the April county council meeting.
So far in 2018, the council’s environment section has issued 40 litter fines, and 28 notices on abandoned cars. It has received 340 environmental complaints for investigation, mostly about litter and waste.