July 25, 2021

Wicklow council records increase in illegal dumping and fly-tipping

Wicklow County Council has recorded a significant increase in illegal dumping and fly tipping since people were asked to stay at home as a result of COVID-19.

All domestic waste services are showing increases in waste generated at home as we spend more time there and do all our eating and consumption in our own homes.

Staying at home has been linked to an increase in DIY and many people are taking the opportunity to declutter. Online deliveries have grown generating extra packaging waste.

The increase in dumping is most noticeably in the form of small-scale fly tipping with individual items dumped or small quantities of household waste by individuals. The dumping is occurring more locally with offenders travelling short distances.

The number of bulky items being dumped, such as mattresses, has also grown. In one day recently  Wicklow County Council picked up mattresses from eight different locations. Street bins have seen big increases in volume even when few people are out and about.

As we eat and drink at home the amount of waste we generate in our households has increased dramatically. Food waste is up by 25 per cent while glass waste has also increased dramatically.

The bottle bank network has been under significant pressure.  Large quantities of glass and cans with packaging and other items have been left on the ground littering the sites. Glassco who service the banks have increased collections but are limited by staff availability in how much extra they can do.

Where bottle banks are full Wicklow County Council are asking the public to bring their glass home and store it for a later visit to a bottle bank or recycling centre.

Wicklow County Council has worked to keep all recycling centres open, maintain street cleaning and servicing of  all street bins in our towns. The Council is appealing to the public to help protect staff still working by using all centres and its bin network fairly and correctly. Staff should not be asked to handle other peoples waste in an unsafe and unnecessary manner particularly during this crisis.

The Council’s waste enforcement team is operating at full capacity and investigating reports of dumping, removing dumped waste as quickly as possible while an increasing use is being made of CCTV in order to catch and prosecute more offenders. The Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment has provided funding for extra CCTV.

Better practice with waste management will help to protect all of us from COVID-19


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