‘Losing battle’ warning on Kerry litter

More than 60,000 tonnes of litter is expected to be collected from Kerry roadsides this year, in what some councillors warned was a losing battle with litter louts in a top tourist county.

‘Losing battle’ warning on Kerry litter

Levels of pollution had not reduced there despite intensive awareness campaigns by Kerry County Council and relentless efforts by volunteers.

A county council meeting in Tralee heard calls for a specific litter warden for tourist town Killarney.

The county has three mobile litter wardens covering notable blackspot areas.

Killarney councillor Michael Gleeson said he was very disappointed that there had been no reduction in litter levels on the main Cork-Kerry road.

“My fear is volunteers will get disheartened,” he said, saying a full-time litter warden for Killarney was also needed.

Dog fouling, meanwhile, was a huge problem on Kerry beaches and on streets and public parks, while paper and plastic materials lined roadsides.

However, a new phenomenon of microwaves and other white goods being left along roadsides was also emerging, Independent councillor Brendan Cronin said.

A council move to weigh rubbish at transfer stations and charge by weight was “a retrograde step” and would set matters back by years, said Mr Cronin.

Last year, on a single day, April 18, more than 3,600 volunteers worked with the county council to collect more than 60 tonnes of litter from roadsides in Kerry.

Business and community groups and individuals were involved. A further 20 tonnes of waste was collected on another occasions under the An Taisce Spring Clean project.

This year’s countywide spring clean day is April 2.

Council senior executive Liam Quinlan said: “The challenge is to get an even better response in 2016.”

A total of 787 litter pollution cases was investigated in Kerry last year and 57 on- the-spot fines issued.

A total of eight prosecutions for non-payment of fines were taken.

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