IFA Environment & Rural Affairs Chairman Pat Farrell has welcomed Environment Minister Phil Hogan’s proposal to introduce new anti-littering legislation as “a genuine effort to stamp out the scourge of littering by passing motorist and other who recklessly use the countryside as a dump.”
The Association have called for the full implementation of anti-littering proposals put forward to Minister Hogan in the legislation, including:
County Councils must establish a network of strategically located skips on the outskirts of towns and villages, where people can safely dispose of rubbish.
The current legislation must be amended and the threat of fines and prosecutions of farmers on whose lands others dump litter recklessly must be removed.
Environmental enforcement officers must liaise directly with the public, highlighting the issue of rural littering and encourage people to take their litter home and dispose of it correctly. This should be supported by a national television, radio and print media campaign.
A national free-phone litter reporting line and website should be introduced to allow the public report incidents of littering.
A designated National Rural Spring Clean Week should be established, during this week all County Council environmental enforcement officers should be available to collect and clear rubbish along roadside verges, once notified.
Mr. Farrell said, “Ireland’s countryside is a great place in which to live and work and farmers play a huge role in enhancing the environment, as custodians of the countryside. However stronger deterrents are required to tackle the perpetrators of illegal dumping and to maintain Ireland’s green image and attractiveness to tourists.”