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Illegal dumping complaints to Kilkenny County Council rose by 25% in 2020

It's as many people have been coming across a range of discarded items

Dumping complaints to Kilkenny County Council has risen by a quarter year-on-year.

KCLR’s been contacted by so many people outlining a range of items they’ve found in their respective areas – yesterday alone one woman came across pots, pans, a kettle, toaster, bag of rubbish and eight cooking oil buckets in a ditch and field close to her Paulstown home. (More on that here).

The Environment section of the local authority’s told KCLR News they too have noticed a jump in such issues with complaints since March 2020 up 25% on 2019’s.

And it seems that trend’s continuing with the council’s Acting Senior Engineer Frank Stafford telling us “We’ve received over 1,300 complaints this year and of that 56% would relate to illegal dumping and littering so I’d make a plea to the public to dispose of their waste in the appropriate manner, it’s not fair to be discarding waste illegally in our, sometimes our most scenic areas throughout our county and, you know, expecting other people to clean it up”.

He adds “It’s a risk at the moment, especially with Covid and all that entails in terms of cross-contamination to people, people are reluctant to go in and clean it and of course our staff are being put at risk when they have to go in and clean up these sites so I would really appeal to the public to continue to report it, don’t interfere with the waste because we want our enforcement officers to actually go through the bags to try and find evidence””

Mr Stafford is warning that all’s being done to catch culprits, noting “We’ve had huge success in 2020, we had issued over 223 fines, 150 euro fines, our enforcement officers are very active despite the restrictions that are in place and we’ll continue to do that I mean it’s in the interested of everybody living in the county and indeed the country, we’re appealing to people to be respectful not just of their friends, their neighbours, their family, their friends, this is a risk to everyone, it’s an environmental hazard”.

Dog Fouling

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With an increase in the numbers of people taking to walking for exercise and fresh air, there’s been a rise too in many bringing their dogs with them and this has also seen a jump in the number of complaints on dog fouling.

Frank Stafford outlines “There’s health risks associated with leaving dog faeces behind irrespective of the inconvenience and the awfulness of having to remove it from your shoe or pram but children could put their hands on it and there’s very serious health risks and implications associated with that so again I’d appeal to people to bring their dog poo bags with them, collect their waste and use the bins appropriately and our policy is any bin anywhere so again just really put that appeal out to the public because we’re seeing the increase in the number of complaints in respect of dog fouling so it’s just to be respectful of your fellow citizens”.

He also says it’s a hard issue to police, telling KCLR News “Enforcement is difficult, especially during the lockdown because we’re trying to minimise interaction with people now we have our dog wardens out patrolling key locations around the city and county so they would be taking regular patrols and just interacting with people while retaining social distancing to ensure that they are looking after the proper I suppose husbandry of their animals when they’re bringing them for walks, it’s is difficult but it’s something we’re looking at more intensively in order to carry out enforcement”.