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Illegal Dumping

Posted 18 Feb. 2015

There has been an astonishing increase in the amount of illegal dumping, not only within the Ashbourne District, but across the county of Meath as a whole. Over the last few weeks in particular I have seen televisions, microwaves, cabinets, domestic rubbish and furniture on roads and motorways, and in rivers and housing estates. Ditches and quiet rural roads appear to be very badly affected. On Gormanston beach, tyres and other garage waste are being consistently being dumped every couple of weeks by the same person, I reckon.  

In November, Ashbourne was devastated by flooding; with illegal dumping being a major contributing factor to the extent of the damage. We removed tree stumps, tyres, sports equipment, lino, carpets, advertisement boards, black bags full of green waste, bottles, cans and bags of domestic rubbish from the overflowing tributary that eventually leads to the Broadmeadow river beside the Ashbourne Golf Club. Rubbish dumped on private property such as on local sports grounds ultimately results in these particular groups having to spend much needed money on removing the waste rather than putting it to good use within the facility itself.

In Meath, there are recycling facilities available in Dunboyne, Trim, Kells and Navan. It costs just €3 to use them; however, there are additional charges for various other bulky items or building waste. Other information regarding opening times and what can and can't be recycled is available on the Meath County Council website.

Another matter that has come to my attention is the fact that public bins in Ashbourne are repeatedly being used for the disposal of domestic rubbish; every Monday morning in Ashbourne now, we see black bags left outside the public litter bins. For the past month, we have been part of a pilot scheme with Meath Co. Co. where new smart bins have been installed; these bins are powered via a solar panel to compact rubbish internally and are capable of telecommunication to send messages to the environment section in Navan when the bins are almost full.  Only then, will the council send one of the outdoor staff to empty the bin, saving time and resources. However, these bins are now being abused by some people to offload their domestic rubbish and this type of use is not what these bins have been intended for.

I encourage the public to report any instances of illegal dumping by contacting the Meath or Louth Co. Co. and speaking to a member of staff in confidence. You can even report dumping from car windows by recording registration numbers; however, in rare occasions you may have to go to court to testify against the littering offender.  I want to see the Council start to use CCTV and mobile hidden cameras in hot spots throughout the county. Only then, will we see a dramatic improvement in combating environmental dumping once people begin to get prosecuted for their crimes.