Councillors in Offaly want a lot more CCTV cameras erected around the county to tackle the scourge of illegal dumping
Frustrated Offaly county councillors called for a lot more CCTV cameras to be set up at strategic positions around Birr Municipal District during their July monthly meeting.
The perennial problem of illegal dumping and fly-tipping became very acute during Covid 19 and while it's abated a bit it still remains significant.
Cllr Clare Claffey said the subject of illegal dumping is coming up time and time again at meetings and in the media. “It is very frustrating that we are not getting more in control of this issue.”
She said a CCTV at the Marina in Banagher might solve the issue there. “It was good to see the new bins at the Marina but the bins filled up pretty quickly. We need more bins and more CCTV cameras throughout Birr MD.
“There has been very little dumping along Crank Road in Banagher since a CCTV camera was put up there and people started getting fines.”
Cllr Eamon Dooley said the Council has done a lot of work in tackling this scourge and has issued a lot of fines. He said the Bring Banks beside the Fire Station in Ferbane need a CCTV.
“I am also getting a lot of complaints about the issue of dog fouling in the area of the Business Park in Ferbane. CCTV is needed there as well to reduce it.”
Cllr John Carroll said it was good to see that “the Council is proceeding with some prosecutions for illegal dumping.” He said there's a major dumping problem about three miles from Birr, just off the N52 to Tullamore, at a spot called Ballynaguilsha where people are driving in off the N52 and dumping big amounts of waste. “A CCTV is needed there as well.”
He praised the group of people who recently removed 35 bags of rubbish from Clonoghill graveyard in Birr town. “It is great to see that community spirit.”
Cllr John Clendennen commented that it's important “that we continue to highlight our litter court cases to show that the Council is taking the matter seriously.”
He said the CCTV at Clonoghill graveyard is proving effective. “Without a doubt we should put up more CCTVs at more litter blackspots.”
Cllr John Leahy commented that “for a change” social media is working in favour of the County Council regarding this waste dumping issue “because people are getting angry and where people get angry they have no problem highlighting litter problems.”
He said the Adopt a Mile litter pick had been hugely successful. He spoke of the problem of the dashboard warriors throwing their coffee cups and fastfood wrapping out the car window. He said the Council should talk to takeaway restaurants about the problem.
“We should get rid of bins completely because people are going to throw rubbish anyway,” he believed. “People are getting very clever and are ensuring that their rubbish has no addresses in it, so it's getting harder to prosecute.” He said the fines should be heavier.
“I am against small fines like €75. People should be brought to court. They should be named and shamed in the paper. I guarantee you that if they are named in the paper then they won't offend again.”
Cllr Peter Ormond agreed that they should install more CCTVs. He praised the Council staff. “When you bring a complaint to the Environment Section the Litter Warden is out in a day. I welcome the CCTVs in Banagher graveyard.”
Mary Hussey, Senior Engineer said CCTV is very useful but is very resource-intensive and there are also GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) issues. “Having said that, everyone has woken up the fact that CCTV is the way to tackle this problem.”
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