Cork County Council has deployed a new rapid reaction squad which will clean up areas hit by fly-tipping.
A spokesman for the local authority said that some staff had been redeployed from its waste management services to undertake the task of cleaning areas where illegal littering was a regular problem.
The squad will initially be utilised in a pilot scheme in the East Cork area and if it is successful the project will be expanded to other parts of the county.
Fly-tipping hasn’t increased significantly in recent months but it is a blight on the countryside and the council is determined to tackle it.
The spokesman said that the squad “will be targeting areas known as litter blackspots”.
He said these would be identified from local intelligence-gathering and from the National Complaints Procedure, a database which the public can use to make complaints about illegal dumping.
On average, over 2,000 complaints are made every year about such dumping in Cork.
Meanwhile, the local authority is also increasingly availing of people who have been given Community Service Orders (CSOs) by the courts to clean up litter and graffiti.
Some of those offenders are allowed to work un-supervised, but the Probation Service also supervises groups of individuals who are put on specific clean-up duties at the request of the local authority.
“The more people we can get involved in this the better. We have meaningful tasks for them to complete,” the council spokesman said.
“The scheme has proved very successful as far as Cork County Council is concerned. It’s helping turn around the lives of people who have been given CSOs and it’s also of huge benefit to the community.”
Community groups involved in Tidy Towns clean-ups can also avail of the Probation Service’s CSO schemes.
Meanwhile, the council continues to use helicopter surveillance to monitor activities in licensed and illegal dumps.
The use of aerial surveillance has been particularly effective in recent years, leading to the closure of a large number of illegal operations throughout the county.
The council spokesman said anybody wishing to make a complaint about illegal dumping could get further information by logging on to the council’s website.
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