Government to target illegal dumping with drones

The Environment Minister has described illegal dumping as "economic and environmental treason"

Government to target illegal dumping with drones

Image: Donegal County Council

Illegal dumping across the country is being targeted with the use of drones and CCTV.

It is hoped undercover surveillance and smart technology will help end the practice - which the Environment Minister has described as "economic and environmental treason."

Irish Business Against Litter says illegal dumping is probably the biggest single problem facing the environment.

As part of a Government crackdown - €2m is to be spent this year targeting those responsible.

The funding will support the use of covert surveillance and smart technology, including drones and satellites, as well as CCTV.

Environment Minister Denis Naughten said he is also clamping down on bogus waste collectors:

“I personally believe that illegal dumping is both economic and environmental treason,” he said.

“From an economic perspective, it gives a bad impression for tourism, for investors coming into our regions.

“It is environmental treason because it is a blight on our environment.”

Irish Business Against Litter spokesperson Conor Horgan has welcomed the move but says more needs to be done:

“A lot of it boils down to the County Council and City Council to clean up our country,” he said.

“It is not a resource issue that there are still litter black spots.

“We identify them year-on-year; point them out to the city councils, yet in some cases they are just no addressed.”

Community groups and Local Authorities are being urged to apply for funding as part of the €2m investment.

Reporting from Paul Quinn