The high cost of bin charges is making it increasingly tempting for people living in rural areas to dump their waste illegally instead of paying for it to be taken away.
Fianna Fáil TD Sean Fleming made the claim yesterday.
Separately, it emerged that Ireland is still at risk of EU fines due to the fact potentially dangerous landfills have yet to be filled.
Speaking at the latest meeting of the Dáil’s public accounts committee, chairman Mr Fleming said it is becoming increasingly obvious the countryside is now “dirtier” due to the amount of litter in scenic areas — and blamed it on the rising costs of bin collections.
Department of Communications, Climate Action, and Environment secretary general Mark Griffin said there is an ongoing issue among some members of the public over the cost of bin charges and that, in some cases, this is resulting in illegal dumping taking place.
However, he insisted that the current system is working and stressed that the number of people who are effectively “fly-tipping” remains low.
The comments came as Mr Griffin was criticised by Social Democrats TD Catherine Murphy and Independent TD Catherine Connolly for failing to ensure all dangerous landfills have not been closed or had their risks addressed.
After confirming to Ms Connolly that at least 70 “high-risk” sites are still apparent in Ireland, Mr Griffin was criticised by Ms Murphy for failing to ensure the State is no longer at risk of EU fines.
Ms Murphy said it is unacceptable that Ireland could still be facing fines for a legacy problem that has yet to be resolved.
During the same meeting, Mr Griffin also admitted that despite his department having responsibility for setting targets on how much energy conservation is taking place within the Government, he does not know the figure for his own department.
Meanwhile, he said while the GPO Arcade campus in Dublin city centre is officially valued at €2m — a figure far below what is believed to be its true cost — this is an outdated price tag and does not reflect how much it is valued at by the State.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved