Litter, as everybody knows, is a serious problem in Ireland. Kildare is no exception to this, and as a result, action is being taken by Kildare County Council to reduce the litter problem.What is litter?
The Litter Pollution Act, 1997 defines litter as:
"any substance or object....that, when deposited in a place other than a litter receptacle or other place lawfully designated for the deposit, is or is likely to become unsightly, deleterious, nauseous or unsanitary, whether by itself or with any other such substance or object"
This is an extremely broad definition because the law has to cover as many possible types of littering as possible.
So what is the Council doing?
There are two main areas of action: Education and Enforcement
Although most people are aware of the bad effects of littering, there is always a new generation that need to be informed. To this end, a major focus of the Schools Education Programme is on litter. The Litter Wardens and the Environment Awareness Officer will visit schools on request to discuss litter and how to reduce it.
This can be an enlightening process for all concerned and a visit is highly recommended if there is a litter problem in the school.
Enforcement is carried out by the liter warden team.
So what do the litter wardens do?
It is quite simple. Wherever they observe or are informed of a litter offence, they look for the culprit and issue a litter fine.
Fines can be on-the-spot (€150) or if the offence is more serious, or the initial fine is unpaid, the offender can be taken to court and a fine of up to €3000 can be issued. On-the-spot fine payment can be made by cash, cheque, postal order, money order or credit card. Online payment is not possible at this time.
If you are aware of incidences of littering, just contact the litter wardens and they will act on the information (including seeing people discarding litter from vehicles- just take a note of the vehicle registration).
These two strands of the policy are contained in the Kildare Litter Management Plan. This can be viewed here (link to Litter Mangement Plan)
Contact the litter wardens:
The litter wardens can be contacted on the freephone litter line: 1800 243 143 or 045 980588 or email email@example.com.
If you would like to talk to the litter warden in confidence, you can meet them by arrangement.
Illegal dumping refers to littering on a much larger scale- this can be abandoned vehicles, old furniture to illegal dumps in old quarries and on agricultural land. The Council employs a number of engineers to ensure that this dumping is tackled. If you are aware of illegal dumping you can report it in strict confidence. We may need to take your contact details in order to locate the specific site, but you will not be called as a witness if you do not wish to. Alternatively, you can contact the Environmental Protection Agency- they have a dedicated Hotline: 1850365121 or see www.epa.ie
National Spring Clean is a yearly event that happens every April. Hundreds of volunteers get out and clean up our countryside and towns. National Spring Clean is a powerful community event.
A nationwide campaign, National Spring Clean encourages and welcomes members from every sector of society to organise and actively participate in a clean up event. Run throughout the entire month of April, the campaign attracts volunteers from Residents Associations, Tidy Towns Groups, Schools, Community Groups, Youth Groups, Environmental and Voluntary Organisations and indeed individuals who simply want to clean up their own area.
The key objectives of the National Spring Clean campaign are to:
- Heighten awareness of litter and waste issues
- Encourage clean-ups throughout the whole month of April
- Increase active participation among Youth, Business and other under-represented groups
- Promote the notion of personal responsibility for litter
Everyone who register with An Taisce gets a clean-up pack including the following:
- How to organise an event
- A ready-made press release
- How to continue your environmental improvements
- Protective tabards for your group to wear during the clean-up
- Information on waste reduction, reuse and recycling
- Colour coded refuse and recycling sacks
You can contact them at 01 4002219 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org