Farm Ireland

Saturday 16 December 2017

Drones to be used in dumping crackdown

Drones are being increasingly used for many purposes
Drones are being increasingly used for many purposes
Environment Minister Denis Naughten. Photo: Tom Burke

Farming Independent Team

Covert surveillance and drone footage will be used as part of a crackdown on illegal dumping that is plaguing communities.

Environment Minister Denis Naughten said they were aiming for better enforcement of anti-littering laws with more evidence available for successful prosecution.

"Our communities are standing as one to say 'enough'. Our riverways, mountainsides, towns and villages are to no longer be used as the dumping grounds for those amongst us who have no respect for their environment or their neighbours," said Mr Naughten.

He said people were committing "environmental and economic treason" by dumping waste illegally across the countryside and in our rivers.

An initial allocation of €650,000 has been doubled to €1.3m, with 85 projects approved to clean up blackspots, increase surveillance and target.

He said they were aiming to support more community-led anti-dumping projects.

The IFA's environment chair Thomas Cooney said they welcomed the measure as further commitment to the problems of litter plaguing the countryside.

"I'd express concern at the lack of prosecution by local authorities," he said.

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"We would be hoping there will be prosecutions going forward. We want to reiterate our call to change legislation to ensure a farmer is not responsible where rubbish has been dumped on farmland as a result of fly-tipping. We want to ensure that farmers do not bear the cost."

He said they were receiving a lot of calls from farmers on the issue. "Close to the big urban centres, it is a problem - it is quite widespread as the cost of landfill is rising all the time."

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