Offaly County Council the best in the country at enforcing illegal dumping laws
An RTE Investigates probe has revealed that Offaly County Council has the highest rate of enforcement when it comes to illegal dumping, but that prosecutions are low.
The figures were derived from the EPA between 2014 and 2016, and a six-month investigates by RTE Investigates team. A documentary about their investigation will be aired on RTE One on Monday night, June 18, at 9.35pm.
The figures revealed that Offaly County Council, who admitted at a recent council meeting to a problem with illegal dumping in the county, is ranked 9th of the 30 councils analysed in terms of regulating and fighting illegal dumping.
Between 2015 and 2016 Offaly spent €13.92 per person on waste services, €3.30 less than the national average of €17.22, but carried out 580 enforcement actions between 2014 and 2016, five times the national average and the highest number in the country.
However, the figure for Offaly falls down when it comes to prosecutions achieved on foot of these inspections and detections of illegal dumping. Offaly's prosecution rate stands at 1.3%, which is almost half the national average of 2.4%. County councils have the power to take prosecutions against companies or individuals suspected of breaking the law by polluting the environment or disposing of waste improperly, but such actions are notoriously difficult to complete.
Offaly County Council also slipped down the pecking order when it came to inpsections of waste facilities. Each year councils conduct routine inspections of waste facility sites to ensure they are compliant, and Offaly were ranked 20th out of the 30 councils when it came to the rate in which they carry out such inspections.
Offaly rate of non-route inspections saw them ranked 14th in the country on this front while their dedicated waste management staff number is in line with the national average.
At a recent council meeting, Offaly County Council Chief Executive of Offaly County Council, Anna Marie Delaney, said that illegal dumping was "a serious issue" around Offaly, and is "a drain on resources" when it comes to cleaning up.
Responding to calls for illegal dumpers to be named and shamed, Director of Services, Sean Murray said, "Offaly County Council is bound by the law of the land when it comes to these matters."
He elaborated to say that when these prosecutions go through the courts, Offaly County Council is not in a position to name them for a number of reasons, but the media would be free to attend and name those appearing on little charges.
Anna Marie Delaney said litter enforcement teams would continue to work in areas throughout the county to reduce the level of illegal dumping.
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