Calls for further action on littering

Clir John O'Leary

Clir John O'Leary

LITTERING levels throughout Waterford were highlighted at the October Comeragh District Meeting of Waterford City and County Council.
Fianna Fail Cllr John O’Leary outlined the activities of the newly formed Ballyduff/Kilmeaden Tidy Towns group which held its inaugural litter pick last week.
Cllr O’Leary said there was a good turnout at the event but said he was “aghast” at the amount of littering that actually takes place.
“I know there are sanctions and fines in relation to litter being thrown from cars and fly-tipping but is there anything further that the council can do in relation to the promotion and awareness of the impact of littering?” he asked.
Cllr O’Leary said it was important that people are aware that littering costs money and contributes to a downgrading of the area they live in.
Cllr Mary Butler asked if there was a process in place to update those who had made complaints about littering.
She said one lady who had reported fly-tipping near Portlaw had found a name amongst the rubbish and was anxious for an update on her report.
“The lady in question who reported the dumping asks me every week if anything has happened. She asked me if it’s worthwhile reporting littering seen as she hasn’t heard anything back,” said Cllr Butler.
She went on to ask what format was in place to let people know if their report had been dealt with.
“Is there a process in place where you can contact the person who made the report and let them know what happened?” she asked.
While Cllr Butler said she understood that personal details could not be revealed, she said it would be beneficial if the person who made the report could be informed of what action was taken.
Director of Services Fergus Galvin said the council pursues cases where names of individuals are found.
“This has been done quite successfully over the last few years,” he said.
While he said there were issues surrounding confidentiality, he accepted Cllr Butler’s point about informing people if action has been taken.
He also said action was being taken on particular littering ‘blackspot’ areas around the county.
“We have successfully used CCTV cameras to find evidence,” he added.
Mr Galvin said he believed the council was doing all it could to tackle the littering problem.
He went on to explain that there currently are two environmental awareness officers in County Waterford and said the council has promoted educational awareness programmes.

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