Donegal has poorest performing council for investment in waste services
County by county performance on illegal dumping to be documented by RTÉ programme
Official statistics returned to the EPA suggest local authorities regulate more than 6,000 waste operations and carry out more than 25,000 inspections each year. File photograph: David Sleator
There are significant discrepancies between the sums of money county and city councils across the Republic spend policing illegal dumping with some setting aside little more than €4 per person in their catchment area and others spending in excess of €100 per person.
As part of a programme to be broadcast on Monday night under the RTÉ Investigates umbrella, environmental data from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Housing was used to determine how seriously councils take waste offences.
It found that Donegal was the poorest performing council for its inspection rate of its facilities and for its investment in waste services.
Between 2014 and 2016 Donegal had just two members of staff to regulate the 44 waste permits in the area while over the course of 2015 and 2016 it spent €4.20 per person on waste management, planning and regulation services.
The national average spend was €17.22 and Leitrim, the only county in the Republic that borders Donegal, spent €21.24 per person on these areas – five times more than Donegal. In Meath the council spent €36.87 per person while Longford County Council spent €29.91.
Illegal waste activity
Between 2015 and 2016 Kildare spent €112.68 per person on waste services, more than €95 more than the national average although much of the spending was due to the work the council has had to carry out to clean up massive illegal waste activity at Kerdiffstown.
In the capital the South Dublin Council spent €42.09 per person while in the Dublin City area the spend was put at €17.05. The lowest spending area in Dublin was Dún Laoghaire Rathdown where €7.36 per person was spent.
Wicklow came out as the highest performing council in Ireland for managing waste services and between 2014 and 2016 it completed 6,174 non-routine inspections, four times the national average of 1,371.
Official statistics returned to the EPA suggest that local authorities together employed 150 people to regulate and enforce its part of the waste sector.
Together they regulate more than 6,000 waste operations and carry out more than 25,000 inspections each year. They also initiate more than 4,000 enforcement actions and pursue close to 400 prosecutions for waste related crimes annually.
In a statement, Donegal County Council said the analysis by RTÉ Investigates did not reflect all of its efforts in the area of waste management and enforcement. It added that it had secured funding to hire extra staff.