Monday, 1st April 2019
Press Statement by Hildegarde Naughton TD
Fine Gael, Galway West and South Mayo
Surveillance drones may be deployed to combat illegal dumping at litter blackspots in Galway after government funding of €3 million was announced for measures to prevent fly-tipping.
Fine Gael TD for Galway West Hildegarde Naughton, who chairs the Oireachtas Climate Action Committee, said the investment would allow communities and local authorities to tackle the scourge of illegal dumping.
The €3 million boost for the Anti-Dumping Initiative represents a 50-percent increase on last year’s budget, and will support physical deterrents such as fencing and lighting, as well as innovative measures such as the use of drones.
“CCTV has yielded some success as a dumping deterrent, but stationary cameras have limitations in that fly-tippers can avoid the particular area that they monitor and simply dump waste in the next-nearest area,” explained Deputy Naughton.
“Surveillance drones have no such limitations and can catch offenders at litter blackspots without them even knowing that they’ve been seen. The prospect of this is also an effective deterrent.”
The Galway West TD said that particular emphasis will be placed on community involvement in anti-dumping schemes this year, as a collective effort was required between local authorities and communities – especially in rural and remote areas.
“There are already resources available to local authorities for combating illegal dumping, such as the annual enforcement grant of €7.4 million, which supports the recruitment and retention of 150 waste enforcement personnel nationally,” said Deputy Naughton.
“The Anti-Dumping Initiative is intended to help communities to prevent illegal waste disposal and beautify their localities. It also aims to educate young people and increase awareness of the issue.”
The Climate Action Committee chairperson said the €3 million fund would be especially focused on known blackspots this year.
“Nearly half of the funding will be used to target established dumping blackspots. Some 5,000 tonnes of illegal waste has been removed from these locations since 2017,” she explained.
“The funding will be made available under four categories: prevention, education and awareness, abatement, and enforcement. Within these categories, deterrents are included like barriers, signage, beautification projects, bulky waste collection and awareness campaigns.
“A dumping database will also be developed, and innovative solutions such as the deployment of surveillance drones will also be supported under the fund,” added Deputy Naughton.
Applications for funding open today (April 1) and will be accepted until the end of the month.