The extent to which people are illegally dumping rubbish on country roads was highlighted yesterday when it was revealed that a special team of council workers recovered 2.18 tonnes of rubbish in just 12 days.
Sharon Corcoran, the council’s director of services, said that the team had removed the litter from roadsides in parts of North Cork.
Three special litter-busting teams have been set up to clean up other blackspot areas in the county and Ms Corcoran told a meeting of the local authority’s Northern Division they were removing similar amounts of rubbish.
Ms Corcoran made her comments as she delivered details of an environmental services report to councillors at a meeting in Mallow and said littering “was a blight on the rural landscape”.
Labour councillor Noel McCarthy said it was good that special teams were tackling the issue, but he urged council officials to put covert cameras in place to catch those responsible and then “name and shame them”.
Independent councillor John Paul O’Shea agreed and hoped bags of rubbish were being checked for evidence of the identity of the culprits.
Fianna Fáil councillor Dan Joe Fitzgerald said tidy towns groups regularly cleaned up after fly-tippers and this was unfair on them.
“It’s a major problem and we can’t make it easy for the perpetrators to do this,” he said.
Ms Corcoran said the council was mapping blackspots and it was likely they would use cameras in areas where there was persistent dumping.
She said those breaking the law were very clever and usually wouldn’t leave any incriminating evidence in the bags they dumped.
Mr McCarthy also asked Ms Corcoran to look at getting more dog wardens to prosecute people who were letting their pets foul streets, which was “getting out of hand”.
She said that, on a more positive note, there was a 99% compliance with water drinking regulations in supplies around the county.
Ms Corcoran said that five non-compliances were noticed in Fermoy and a further 14 in Mallow which had to do with PH levels. In the meantime, there was 99.2% compliance with drinking quality amongst private group water schemes.
Ms Corcoran said the number of environmental inspections council staff will undertake at the county’s 12,000 farms this year will be 700.
She said this would be down on previous years, as the local authority was dealing with reduced manpower and the same people now also had to carry out septic tank inspections as well.
Ms Corcoran said that 145 domestic septic tank inspections were carried out between last July and the end of December. On average, two thirds of inspections showed non-compliance, with the main reason being they had not been desludged.
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