‘Wholescale’ dumping on national roads costs €1m a year
Hundreds of tyres burnt on weighbridge at the Border on the side of the M1 motorway
Illegally dumped tyres dumped at a local authority weighbridge at Dromad on the M1, on the Border with Northern Ireland. Several hundred tyres were piled up on the weighbridge and then set alight two days later.
Wholescale dumping of tyres and builders’ rubble taking place along national roads costs almost €1 million a year to clean up, Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) has said.
The authority, which is responsible for maintaining the State’s new motorways, said it was installing CCTV at litter blackspots in a bid to catch and prosecute offenders.
Fines for littering start with an on-the-spot fine of €150 or a maximum fine of €3,000. However the roads authority is determined that large-scale dumpers will face prosecution under the Protection of the Environment Act, which carries on-the-spot fines of up to €130,000 and €10,000 a day thereafter for continuing offences.
TII said it had been forced to install the cameras after significant increases in dumping since the economy picked up, resulting in incidents that cost up to €16,000 each to clean up.
In 2018 the authority spent €730,000 on removing rubbish that had been dumped along 744km of roadway.
In one incident alone, “industrial quantities” of used tyres were dumped at a local authority weighbridge at Dromad on the M1, on the Border with Northern Ireland. Several hundred tyres were piled up on the weighbridge only to be set alight two days later. The burnt remains of the tyres were removed by TII to a specialist facility at a cost of €15,718.
In other cases, couches, machinery, chairs, plasterboard, metal racks and clothes are frequently dumped in bushy areas or on embankments below the road levels.
TII said an average incident can cost more then €4,000 to clean up. The annual volume of litter collected amounts to more then 215 skips with an associated 28,000 annual worker-hours or €3,500 worker-days.
The authority said it was engaging in a number of camera surveillance regimes with local authorities to increase detection rates.
The move follows the successful installation of CCTV in the Dublin and Wicklow mountains by the environmental group Protecting Upland Rural Environments (Pure).
For the last two years, 2017 and 2018, since the cameras were installed Pure has seen a reduction in the amount of illegal dumping in the Wicklow/Dublin uplands, with 2018 recording the lowest amount of illegal dumping collected in the uplands since the project started in 2007.
In both 2018 and 2017, Pure installed covert CCTV units at several upland sites that were continually affected by dumpers, and the footage obtained clearly identified people involved in both littering and illegal dumping.
This footage resulted in a number of people receiving litter fines, and one case brought before the courts in December 2018, involving large-scale illegal dumping, resulted in a criminal prosecution and large fine.