Friday 19 April 2019

Call for changes to dumping laws

Deborah Coleman

The IFA has called for changes to legislation to be introduce so that farmers are no longer held legally responsible for reckless dumping by others.

Speaking on the issue, which is a particular problem for farmers in the Wicklow uplands, IFA Environment Chairman Thomas Cooney has called for tougher sanctions on serial dumpers who use the Irish countryside as a skip for their illegal activities.

Mr Cooney outlined that all sorts of materials are regularly being dumped on private land, and farmers are having to deal with it.

'Ireland's natural landscape has been preserved over the years by generations of farm families. It is widely recognised that our scenic beauty underpins our tourism offering, however illegal dumping of builders' rubble, mattresses, furniture and electrical appliances continues to undermine the good work of farm families, and stronger action is now required from Government,' he said.

While he welcomed Minister Naughten's decision to increase the on the spot littering fines, he said it must be supported by increased enforcement by local authorities.

The IFA has called for changes to existing litter legislation to remove the threat of fines and prosecution for farmers on whose lands others dump litter recklessly.

The body has stressed the importance of a co-ordinated approach between various stakeholders, to tackle the problem.

Mr Cooney called on the Department of Environment and local authorities to develop a co-ordinated approach to assist the public in managing their rubbish correctly. He called on county councils to establish a network of strategically located skips on civic amenity sites on the outskirts of towns and villages, where people can safely dispose of rubbish, rather than litter the countryside.

Wicklow People