'Unprecedented and extraordinary’ levels of illegal dumping in Dublin

City council identifies problems with textile recycling during Covid-19 pandemic

Dublin city continues to experience “unprecedented and extraordinary” levels of illegal dumping since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, according to Dublin City Council.

The problem is especially bad around recycling facilities for clothes and other textiles, the council said. These facilities can fill up within hours of being emptied, leading to items being dumped on the ground around them.

“Unfortunately, illegal dumping continues to be problematic at recycling facilities across the city,” the council said in response to a question from councillor Vincent Jackson from a recent meeting of the city’s South Central Area Committee.

“Since the pandemic began, we have been experiencing unprecedented and extraordinary levels of recycling and illegal dumping. Despite regular servicing, bottle and especially clothes banks often refill within hours and unfortunately people continue to dispose of items illegally as a result.”


The council said the firms who service the bottle banks, Rehab and Glassco, aim to clean the facilities and surround locations daily.

“However, this is not always possible due to the sheer volume of glass that is currently being recycled. Waste Management Services personnel also regularly clean around recycling facilities and continue to attend to reports of illegal dumping.”

The council also said its textile service provider has been experiencing difficulties because of the pandemic. “We are currently working with them to address these issues,” it said.

It added: “A review of our textile recycling service has just been completed and we intend to implement a number of changes on a phased basis beginning in Q1 2021.”

“Waste Management Services are also currently investigating the potential to introduce quick response reporting and details of collection schedules to on-street recycling facilities.”

In May 2020 it was reported that Dublin city had experienced a 25 per cent increase in dumping of household waste during the pandemic.

Dublin city’s street-cleaning crews encountered a rise in general refuse, as well as rubbish from household clear-outs, including, in one case, a bath dumped on Bride Street, close to Christ Church Cathedral.

In addition, workers reported having to tackle Covid-19-related materials, such as disposable gloves and masks which could be contaminated by the virus.

Dan Griffin

Dan Griffin

Dan Griffin is an Irish Times journalist