Thursday 14 December 2017

Recyclers could face being fined for dumping glass at full bottle banks

A deposit refund scheme for glass and plastic drinks bottles has been suggested
A deposit refund scheme for glass and plastic drinks bottles has been suggested

People dumping empty glass bottles at full bottle bank stations around Dublin could face prosecution for littering.

A massive amount of bottles were taken to the disposal facilities over Christmas and New Year, and where the containers were full, many people left their bottles in front of them in boxes and bags.

But this constitutes littering, and councils could take action, using CCTV footage to identify culprits.

Residents have criticised councils for not scheduling additional bottle bank clear-outs in light of the busy holiday period.

Others have complained the unsightliness of recycling centres, many of which are located within communities, and the dangers associated with the presence of such high volumes of glass in neighbourhoods.

South Dublin County Council said it will pursue people who left boxes and bags of empty bottles at banks over the holidays.

It has a regional contract in place for the emptying of glass recycling banks.

An official said that as the council operated with reduced staff over the festive period, and because of Storm Frank, resources had to be deployed elsewhere.


The city authority operates a number of surveillance cameras at certain recycling centres to reduce incidents of illegal dumping and littering and to identify those responsible.

“The depositing of boxes and bags at these locations at any time is littering and if we have substantiating evidence then we will pursue,” said a council spokesperson.

“The council advises users that at any time if bring banks are full to take home their intended recyclables.”

The council said it had significant problems at bottle banks around the city.

“We do use CCTV footage to prosecute offenders for littering. It’s fair to say, however, that the Christmas period and early January is traditionally the busiest time of the year for recycling,” said the spokesperson.

Fingal County Council also said that where CCTV evidence is available, it will be following up on breaches of the Litter Pollution Acts.

But Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council said it stayed on top of collections at its bottle banks over Christmas and dumping was not an issue.

“We worked between Christmas and New Year to make sure a backlog did not occur,” said a spokeswoman.

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