A multi-faceted approach is needed to solve the 'unbelievable' dumping scourge within the district, following a spate of incidents since the start of the New Year.
Cathaoirleach of New Ross Municipal District, Cllr John Fleming called for several actions to reduce dumping across the district, including making having a refuse service a condition of getting a lease.
Cllr Fleming said: 'The scourge of dumping has gone out of control in our county and serious action has to be taken to alleviate the problem. Recently I was called to Ballinlug, Killanne, where dumping was taking place. The county council collected a large number of sacks on a Saturday morning and to our disbelief another load appeared the next day and after taking that away a couple of days later another load appeared on the way to Killanne by the side of the Ballywilliam to Rathnure road; more dumping in both cases. Now we have names and addresses.'
That Sunday morning before noon he received three phone calls regarding dumping in Clonroche and Raheen. 'A lot of dumping is taking place down unsecured lanes where vehicles can just drive in and unload under cover. The cost to Wexford County Council is huge from collecting rubbish to taking cases to court and also the knock-on effect on tourism and also the sale of property, Who in their right mind would want to purchase a property in a an area covered in litter,' the auctioneer said.
There was 138 fines paid in full and 22 successful court prosecutions taken by Wexford County Council during 2018, he added.
The cathaoirleach welcomed the fact Wexford County Council has employed more staff to deal with the problem but he is calling for dumping to be dealt with at source.
'Council tenants and HAP recipients should have a contract with refuse service providers. This agreement should be a condition in the lease and HAP recipients should have to provide their refuse agreement for inspection. Wexford County Council should have the power to check and call to private dwellings (something I believe the council are in the process of at the moment).'
He also called for a TV campaign similar to the TV licence advertisement stating that people's doors will be knocked on and told if they don't have a refuse contract they will be prosecuted.
'Some people might be nervous about coming forward to give evidence some afraid of intimidation etc. Just contact me and I will deal with the situation and keep all details private.'
Cllr Anthony Connick has been on New Ross Tidy Towns committee for almost a decade and he said he has never seen littering and dumping as bad.
In one morning last week he joined a tidy towns crew who collected ten large filled from Castlehyde estate in Millands to Rosbercon, especially around School House Lane.
'That's only in a half mile stretch. People even came out from their houses to help us and tell us about the level of dumping going on. This is happening all over. 20 double-knot tied bathroom bags containing cosmetic items were found in the Ballyrue, Ballyanne, Ryleen areas. It's repeat offenders. They are throwing them out their car windows. It's just unbelievable!'
He said 80 per cent of the rubbish dumped in New Ross town is recyclable.
Cllr Connick said people will be shocked when the hedges are cut, saying more and more furniture is being dumped on private farm land, which means the council won't collect it.
'In the Ponds are the people who found the rubbish had to pull out of a ditch onto the road so it could be collected. Dumping has gotten an awful lot worse over the years. It's an absolute disgrace. We are gone a dirty nation.'