22 May 2022

Local authorities report 40% increase in illegal dumping since Covid-19 restrictions began

Local authorities report 40% increase in illegal dumping since Covid-19 restrictions began

Local authorities report 40% increase in illegal dumping since Covid-19 restrictions began

Ireland’s local authorities have joined forces to highlight and address the reports of increases in illegal dumping since the introduction of Covid-19 related restrictions just over six weeks ago.

City and county councils, funded by the Department of Communications, Climate Action and the Environment (DCCAE), have recorded an increase, as high as 40% in some areas, in the number of calls reporting illegal dumpsites during March 2020 when compared to the same time last year. 

Complainants are reporting a number of illegal dumpsites being discovered in streets and byroads, hills and bogs, at public amenities and in private housing estates across the country.

In response, DCCAE has ring-fenced €1 million of the 2020 National Anti-Dumping Initiative allocation for measures that will stop this activity and catch the perpetrators.

Ireland’s three Waste Enforcement Regional Lead Authorities (WERLAs), who are coordinating the Local Authorities response to illegal waste activities, said those found guilty of dumping illegally will be fined or prosecuted. 

Brian White, Coordinator for WERLA, Eastern Midlands Region said, “The situation is being monitored continuously on the ground with specific incidents and patterns of illegal activity being investigated thoroughly. Investigations will lead to fines and possible prosecutions. 

Mr White advised, “Household waste services are operating normally. We are asking householders to please use an authorised waste collector or their local civic amenity to dispose of household waste.” He also advised that leaving waste, including recyclables, on the street close to waste collection amenities is considered illegal dumping.

“Now, more than ever, we need to protect our environment and manage our waste responsibly. Illegal dumping destroys our communities and it will result in fines or prosecution,” he said.

Persons who are found to be responsible for, or involved in, the unauthorised disposal of waste are liable to a maximum fine of €5,000 on summary conviction and/or imprisonment for up to 12 months, and to a maximum fine of €15 million on conviction on indictment and/or imprisonment for up to 10 years.

For more information on managing your waste, go to

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