Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

09.24 19 Jan 2021


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Vehicles should be seized if drivers are caught fly-tipping, a former environment minister says.

Independent TD Denis Naughten says on-the-spot fines also need to be increased for illegal dumping or fly-tipping, as littering is "economic and environmental treason".

Fly-tipping is a continuing problem across the country.

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In Kildare alone, over 2,000 illegal dumping incidents have been recorded in the last two months.

While those convicted of illegal dumping face potentially massive fines, Deputy Naughten said that's not enough as securing convictions is difficult.

Vehicles should be seized if drivers caught dumping illegally - Naughten

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He told Newstalk Breakfast: “While the fines for prosecution are quite substantial, the on-the-spot fines do need to be increased. There’s also a need to look at the actual confiscation of vehicles.

“While legislation is there, it’s not actually being implemented. There’s a need for clarity so if someone is illegally dumping or fly-tipping, that their vehicle can actually be impounded on them.

“The key aspect here is we do need changes in the existing law in terms of clarifying the seizure of vehicles, increasing the use of on-the-spot fines, and the use of CCTV footage."

Deputy Naughten said one of the problems it that items are being dumped even when they can be easily recycled.

He pointed to electrical goods, which can be easily recycled through retailers across the country but are still being thrown out illegally.

He observed: “It’s not just fly-tipping and illegal dumping: we also have a profound problem on our streets in relation to dog-fouling. That really needs to be addressed.

“Littering is economic and environmental treason, and I think the privacy rights should not apply to anyone who is illegally dumping.

"GDPR hasn’t been flagged as an issue up to now… but the Data Protection Commissioner has flagged issues in relation to the handling of this particular data… that the legislation doesn’t allow local authorities to do that. That needs to be clarified."

Main image: File photo. Picture by: Niall Carson/PA Archive/PA Images

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