A senior Cork County Council official has warned that it intends to capture people dumping litter at civic amenity sites/bring sites on CCTV and prosecute them.
In an effort to clamp down on littering, the local authority is also preparing to send its officials to homes around the county to see proof from householders that they are disposing of their waste legally and responsibly.
Louis Duffy, head of Cork County Council’s environment directorate, said a large number of litter fines had been issued to people who had dumped waste/litter at a bring site for recyclables at the car park near the library in Fermoy.
Nearly 100 fines, of €75 each, have been issued in and around the town to litter louts so far this year.
A large number of those fines were for violations at the car park.
Ironically, at the weekend Fermoy was named as the country’s cleanest town by Irish Businesses Against Litter thanks to its efforts to combat the problem.
The bring sites are areas where people can deposit bottles, cans and old clothing in receptacles.
They are smaller than civic amenity sites which can take far more recyclable material as well as waste designated for landfill disposal.
Mr Duffy said there had been a problem at the bring site in Fermoy whereby people were throwing waste next to and around the receptacles and not bothering to put it in them.
Mr Duffy added that this was illegal even if the receptacles are full.
He said that the council intends to move covert CCTV cameras around the county to other recycling centres and was determined to stamp out dumping.
The senior official said that draft waste bylaws had been prepared which will allow the council to carry out house-to-house inspections to see how people are disposing of their waste.
Mr Duffy said he expected these inspections would start early next year.
Householders will have to prove that they are disposing of their waste properly by producing receipts from recognised waste disposal companies, or receipts from the local authority for bags of waste disposed of at civic amenity sites.
There will be a requirement to have proof that people are dealing with the disposal of their waste properly,” Mr Duffy said.
He added that the council was also becoming more involved with multi-agency checkpoints to clamp down on rogue waste disposal businesses who were charging people to dispose of their waste, but then dumping it illegally.
Fine Gael councillor Noel McCarthy welcomed the news that inspectors will be calling to doors checking how householders dispose of their waste.
“There are many people dumping rubbish in wooded areas and on the side of the road,” he said. “They should be named and shamed.”
Mr McCarthy also welcomed news that a number of people had been fined for dumping at the Fermoy bring site.
He described their actions “totally unacceptable.”
While a number of the fines have been paid some remain outstanding and the council has sent a handful for prosecution.
In total, nearly 300 litter fines have been issued countywide this year. Of those, 74 have been sent forward for prosecution because they have not been paid.
While Fermoy topped the number of fines handed out, the East Cork municipal district was the second highest with 90 fines.