Waterford City and County Council has removed 3.5 tonnes of illegal waste in a single day from a dumping blackspot in Dungarvan.
An investigation into the large scale dumping incident is underway and the council has urged members of the public to report illegal dumping to the council.
Illegal dumping in Dungarvan has blighted the area for a number of years according to Raymond Moloney, head of the environment department at Waterford City and County Council.
“This area has had illegal dumping going on for a number of years and this instance was particularly bad.
“We have had complaints in the past, we removed 3.5 tonnes of waste from that location today,” said Mr Moloney.
Despite public-funded initiatives in 2019 for improved street lighting, efforts to stop illegal dumping in the area have not yet been successful.
The council hopes increased public awareness of the incident may act as a further deterrence.
Mr Moloney said rear access to houses in affected areas is no longer possible and that rotting food among the waste can attract vermin.
“Whoever is doing the dumping is having an impact on people who are managing to dispose of their waste correctly,” he said.
In 2020, the council began four prosecutions for illegal dumping which are currently ongoing. Previous investigations in 2019 resulted in three convictions for illegal disposal of waste and in 2018, the council secured a further two convictions.
Mr Moloney said unauthorised waste collectors especially pose challenges as the public are not aware where their waste is disposed of. He said reporting the licence plate of a vehicle engaged in illegal dumping is effective.
An illegal dumping incident of the scale such as today's in Dungarvan can result in a fine of up to €3,000 or 12 months imprisonment, or even both, under the Waste Management Act.
Illegal dumping can be reported to the Council at 0761 10 20 20.