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Bonfires 'being used to cover up illegal dumping'

Plus: Is Dublin City Council using CCTV to monitor dumping?

BONFIRES ARE BEING used to cover up illegal dumping in the Finglas Ballymun area, a local political activist has said.

One resident from the Balcurris Green area of Ballymun said he has contacted Dublin City Council to clean the area up on a number of occasions and within days of it being cleaned it is “back to square one”.

These pictures taken in the Balcurris area highlight the scale of the problem, said David Costello, Fianna Fáil local area representative for Finglas/Ballymun (pictured):

Pic: David Costello

Pic: David Costello

Costello told TheJournal.ie:

These fires are being lit at night time and attract all kinds of antisocial behaviour in the area.
It’s hard to believe that people will light fires in public places to dispose of their rubbish. It’s even harder to believe that they will do it on their neighbours’ doorsteps.

He said that Finglas and Ballymun have seen a “dramatic increase” in illegal dumping since the abolition of the bin waiver scheme in 2012.

Based on figures given by the Area Manager at the local area committee meeting in November 2012 there has been a 360 per cent increase in the cost of dealing with illegal dumping since 2010 in the Finglas/Ballymun area, said Costello.

Costello is calling on Dublin city council and the Department of the Environment to establish a taskforce to look at the issue of the bin waiver scheme ending in the area.

Dublin City Council recently set up a pilot group to examine the issue of illegal dumping in the capital’s north inner city area. It hopes to submit a full report by the end of this summer, but has already recommended to the council that street cleaning be suspended in some of the litter ‘blackspots’ to try and discourage illegal dumping.

CCTV

In June of 2012, DCC was asked by a member of the Central Area Committee, Councillor Cieran Perry, about mobile CCTV cameras and if they were available to monitor illegal dumping.

He was told by the Public Domain Officer that the Central Area Office had been using a company to fit mobile cameras to lampposts to monitor illegal dumping at known dumping blackspots. The company owned the cameras and was also responsible for viewing the footage, taking out the relevant details and passing them on to the litter wardens.

However, it transpired that “a lot of the footage was of no use as it showed a person that could not be identified” even though they were filmed dropping a bag and walking away. If a vehicle registration was found, this could be used however.

Councillor Perry said that the council needs to have good evidence if taking someone to court over illegal dumping, but he feels that it would be worth putting CCTV in place in certain areas to deter illegal dumpers.

Cllr Perry said he also feels that councillors should be informed about the council’s position on CCTV, and its ability to put CCTV in place.

The only thing is – if the quality isn’t acceptable in a court of law there’s no real point expending the type of money involved. CCTV would be a deterrent, it may displace anti-social behaviour or dumping. There is a point to be argued that even displacing it is some sort of impact.

A spokesperson from DCC said it uses CCTV cameras to capture footage of litter offences where a vehicle is used. CCTV cameras are battery operated.

The council said that it is not possible to provide a figure for illegal dumping alone, as Section 3 offences also include articles deposited from a vehicle and flyers deposited in a public place, but the vast majority of offences are for bags of waste deposited in a public place.

In total, 1471 fines were issued under Section 3 of the Litter Pollution Acts in 2012.

Read: City Council ‘will spend €250- €300k to dispose of illegal rubbish’>

Read: 271 fined for illegal dumping in Dublin’s inner city since December>

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