Around 17,000 households – 40% – in the county have opted out of having a regular refuse collection service as collections in Ireland are operated on a pay-by-weight basis. As a result, illegal fly-tipping and burning of rubbish is rife in the area.

Councillor Mary Jackman, chair of the council’s environment strategic policy committee, said: “This dumping constitutes a blight on our landscape which cannot be allowed to continue any longer.

“It is difficult to imagine that the equivalent of 600,000 black refuse sacks is dumped illegally every year but the reality is that this is the scale of the problem we face.”

It currently costs the council €1.7m per annum to deal with the problem so to combat this, it has agreed new draft waste presentation by-laws which update and enhance the existing by-laws that came into effect in 2004.

The new by-laws will mean that businesses and homes based within 200m of a serviced collection route must enter into a contract with a permitted waste collector. The waste must also be separated out into dry recyclables, food waste and residual where a three-bin collection system is in operation.

Maxine Perella

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