Council can identify households that don’t have a registered bin collection service

As Meath County Council continues its battle against litter and illegal dumping, new legislation will allow officials to identify households that don't have a registered bin collection service.

The Circular Economy Bill will allow the council investigate in this way and also allows for increased use of CCTV in the fight against litter.

At last week's meeting of Meath County Council, environmental officer, Bernadine Carry gave an update on the Council's Litter Management Plan which had gone through a public consultation process.

"We are increasing the use of CCTV and we are now in a position to do so legally in line with the bill for the Circular Economy, which is great news for everybody involved in enforcement. We can also now look at identifying households that don't have a registered bin collection service."

She said key points that arose from a consultation process on the Litter Management Plan were increased enforcement, a reduction in the burden of proof and increased use of CCTV and surveillance technology.

There were submissions on having measurable goals so they could see how they are getting on year on year, costs, looking for data on fines and prosecutions, a reduction in fees at the recycling centres, some additional bins, cooperation with neighbouring counties, promotion of food waste prevention, there was a submission in relation to the coastline, calls for bins at transport stops, and a weekend presence for the litter wardens.

"We have additional bulky waste collections we have we do regularly promote food waste prevention. We have the food waste facility in Navan, we have collaboration with neighbouring counties through the little wardens and there are increased number of bins at transport stops and elsewhere. We will look at the weekend working hours. That will be something that we'll have to talk to HR and the unions about and the wardens themselves are pretty flat out as you can imagine throughout the week. So that's something that will require a bit of work because it's a very, very busy area."

She said county council is one of the key stakeholders, but businesses are responsible for outside their premises and property owners are responsible for outside their properties and members of the public obviously have an obligation.

"You'll be aware of the green kilometre. As of today, there's 280 groups registered to take part, we are also involved in the national spring clean.

"There are regular beach clean-ups, picker pals is for young primary school goers, there were 68 groups of volunteers this year

"The tidy towns was a great success this year and well done to everybody involved.

"There were eight anti dumping initiative projects this year to the tune of about €90,000 and we had a dog fouling campaign

"We have a calendar of bulky waste collections. We did it a five in our own recycling centres, but we also had the collections at the Panda facility in Beauparc and Thornton's in Dunboyne," she said.