Tackling illegal dumping across the county cost Limerick County Council a staggering €800,000 in 2012, it has been revealed. At a time of severe austerity, ratepayers and taxpayers in the county will be appalled at having to shell out such a vast amount of money which would be better spent enhancing and improving other services provided by the council.

Illegal dumping is widespread in some areas with all types of unwanted material such as furniture, tyres, rubble, electrical appliances and other waste being dumped frequently on or adjacent to roadsides and in public places.

Expressing alarm and dismay, the Chairman of Limerick County Council’s Environment Strategic Policy Committee, Fine Gael’s Leo Walsh, said: “In the present climate, when money is so scarce, all citizens have a part to play in ensuring that public littering is wiped out.”

Cllr. Walsh said that the money could be much better spent on repairing potholes on the roads, than removing the items which are continuously being dumped on the minor roads in Co. Limerick.

The Adare electoral area councillor called on the public to make use of the great amenity sites being provided by Limerick Co. Council such as bottle banks etc. Cllr. Walsh also appealed to the public when they visit a bottle bank to use the services and not to leave bags of refuse on-site if the bottle banks or collection bins are full. “There are security cameras at all these sites and the car registration numbers of vehicles being used to leave bags at the sites are being recorded and fines are being issued,” he said.

Now that the lawn cutting season has commenced, Cllr. Walsh said it has come to his attention that the public are not aware that the dumping of freshly cut grass or other materials on the roadsides is illegal. He called on all citizens to refrain from throwing rubbish out of the windows of cars.

With the amalgamation of Limerick city and county due in 2014, if the present trend continues, the figure for tackling illegal dumping for the combined area could be set to escalate to around €1.5 million.