Cork village eyeing tidy profits through litter clampdown

The village of Glounthaune has discovered it could potentially raise over €19,000 a day through litter fines

Cork village eyeing tidy profits through litter clampdown

Glounthaune Village, County Cork. Image: Google Maps

A zero-tolerance approach to littering could raise thousands of Euro a day for county councils according to research undertaken in Cork.

The County Cork village of Glounthaune has discovered it could raise over €19,000 a day if it fines everyone who litters.

The town is situated outside of Cork City on the old road to Waterford - and residents believe the vast majority of littering can be attributed to passing cars.

The Glounthaune Tidy Towns committee has carried out extensive analysis of the rubbish found on its streets - and come up with some figures that will make interesting reading for councils around the country.

It found that it gets on average 130 littering incidents every 24 hours - each of which is liable for an on-the-spot fine of €150 from a litter warden.

On The Pat Kenny Show this morning, the chair of the Tidy Tows committee Conor O'Brien said proper enforcement of the fines could lead to some tidy profits:

"But if you postulate that you could levy a fine on each of those 130 incidents, you would pick up €19,500 per day; €137,000 a week or €7m a year in our relatively small village," he said.

"Obviously that is a theoretical number but even if you got 5% of those you would still end up with quite a sizable number."

He called for councils to consider whether it is feasible to have a litter warden in place on a constant basis, with higher -tech options also a possibility.

"Would it be possible in the longer term to equip a static van with CCTV in the same way that you have speed-control camera vans?" he said.

"That then might be a constant kind of reminder - not only for people in Glounthaune but obviously this would be wider throughout Cork and the country perhaps."

Bin-charges

The suggestion comes amid fears that the government's new bin charges regime could lead to an increase in illegal dumping around the country.

The government reached a deal with Fianna Fáil last night that it hopes will diffuse the row over bin charges.

Under the deal, a pricing 'watchdog' will be established to ensure collectors do not charge exorbitant fees  - while the Competition Authority will be asked to examine whether an independent regulator is needed for the waste industry.

Campaigners against the charges have warned that there will be a mass public backlash if the new scheme leads to companies charging excessive fees.