Dumpers paid over €25,000 in fines and costs last year
WICKLOW COUNTY COUNCIL TOOK 37 CASES AGAINST DUMPERS IN 2017. NINE CASES WERE SETTLED OUTSIDE OF COURT, WITH THE 28 OTHERS RESULTING IN CONVICTIONS
WICKLOW County Council is cracking down on illegal dumpers in a bid to clean up the county.
Last year, the waste enforcement section of the council took a total of 37 cases, with nine of them being settled outside of court. The remaining 28 cases were pursued through the courts and resulted in convictions.
In respect of the nine cases settled outside the court, the defendants reached a compromise with the council at an early stage of the proceedings and offered to pay clean-up and administrative costs to avoid the necessity of a protracted court hearing. These offers were accepted by the council, given the resources required in running these prosecutions to a conclusion and also being mindful of the court’s time.
In all of these cases the council was satisfied that adequate restitution had been made by the individuals concerned and the proceedings were struck out on the basis that the agreed amounts were paid in full to the council.
Between the 37 cases taken, a total of €25,420 was paid in respect of fines and/or costs. In addition, over 260 litter fines of €150 each were also issued.
This year, Wicklow County Council is increasing its efforts to successfully prosecute people who litter and illegally dump waste.
There will be additional CCTV placed in both urban and rural areas prone to dumping and along roadways to catch offenders dumping from cars. A drone has also been purchased and will be used to monitor waste sites.
Wicklow County Council has five Environmental Enforcement officers as well as several litter wardens who patrol roadways, streets and the countryside to enforce both the Litter Pollution and the Waste Management Acts.
All evidence is followed up to the fullest extent to identify and prosecute offenders.
The largest punishment handed down was €2,557.99 and related to illegal dumping of waste at Liscolman, Tullow. CCTV evidence was retrieved and the case brought to court but there was no appearance by the offender. A second case relating to dumping at Liscolman was dealt with on the same day and resulted in a penalty of €500.
The second largest punishment handed down in the dumping cases pursued by the council was €1,507.99 and came about after nine bags of waste were found dumped at the Florence Road car park in Bray.
Seven cases in total were initiated by the council following dumping at Charlesland in Greystones. Four cases involving ‘major illegal dumping of a large volume of waste’ were dealt with on a single day in September and resulted in fines/costs of €450 in three cases and €1,350 in the fourth. Another case was dealt with by the court the following month and resulted in the offender having to pay €830. The final two cases were finalised in November and were ‘major’ illegal dumping cases relating to ‘120 tonnes of waste illegally dumped at Charlesland’. One case went before the court and resulted in a penalty of €666.10 while the second was settled outside of court with the accused agreeing to pay €716 to Wicklow County Council for legal and admin costs plus €350 to the court poor box.
The council also pursued four cases of dumping at Stable Lane in Bray. One case related to the dumping of ten bags of waste and was settled outside of court on foot of the payment of €700. Two incidents of illegal dumping of eleven black bags of waste ended up before the court and resulted in a penalty of €929. A case involving the dumping of three large bags of waste was settled outside of court after the accused paid the sum of €300. The final case of illegal dumping at Stable Lane was finalised in court in June and resulted in a penalty of €866.
Three cases relating to illegal signs were dealt with during the year after litter fines had been issued but not paid. One came before the court and resulted in a fine/costs totalling €800 while the other two cases were settled outside of court for the sums of €500 and €250 respectively.
There were numerous cases of illegal dumping at locations throughout the county finalised in 2017.
Illegal dumping of household waste at Kilmurray graveyard in New town mount mount kennedy led to a penalty of €857.99 being imposed on the offender while litter dumped at Lower Main Street in Arklow saw a fine/ costs of €607.06 imposed by the courts. Litter dumped at the People’s Park in Bray resulted in a penalty of €604 while a case in which nine bags of household waste were dumped at Eglinton Road in the town led to the courts ordering the offender to pay €498.
A penalty of €1,007.99 was imposed on a defendant deemed responsible for dumping 70 to 80 bags of general domestic waste at the Sally Gap.
Two incidents of illegal dumping of 14 large black bags of waste at the Florence Road car park in Bray saw the court hand down a penalty of €494.82; two incidents of dumping waste at Quinboro Road and Sidmonton Road in Bray led to a penalty of €716; and a case of 12 bags of waste dumped at Eglinton Road in Bray was settled out of court on foot of the payment of €400.
A skip bag dumped on the roadside at Kilmullen Lane, Killadreenan, Newtownmountkennedy, led to the court applying a penalty of €350 on the guilty party, while a separate case of a skip bag full of waste, plus other waste, being dumped at the entrance to a forest at Moneystown Hill led to the offender being ordered to pay €604.
A penalty of €604 was also handed down by the court after 70 bags of general domestic waste, including furniture, were found dumped on O’Byrne Road in Bray.
Leaving eight bags of domestic waste and fire ash at Richmond Hill, Bray, led to fines/ costs totalling €200 for the guilty party while the individual responsible for dumping six bags of domestic waste beside a bin on Eglinton Road in Bray ended up with a €583 penalty imposed by the court.
Leaving two mattresses outside the recycling centre in Bray cost the guilty party €605 when the case came before the court in October. On the same day, a separate case involving six bags of waste being left at the side of a wall in Kilcoole was also dealt with and saw a penalty of €700 imposed.
Illegal dumping of waste at Aurora, Glencree, saw the court hand down a penalty of €349 to the offender.
A case of burning of waste in Kilcoole was settled outside of court following the payment of the sum of €400. A separate case of the burning of four bags of household waste at Monastery Grove in Enniskerry was pursued following the search of the remains of a bonfire and was settled outside of court after €500 was paid.
The council initiated two cases relating to the disposal of waste by collectors.
In the first, an individual was collecting waste without a valid Waste Collection Permit. The case was settled outside of court once they agreed to pay the sum of €650 and sign an undertaking not to collect in the county without a valid permit.
In the second case, the person before the court handed over waste which was subsequently dumped. They were ordered to pay a total of €516.10, including a €500 payment to the court poor box.
A spokesperson for the council reminded the public that it is an offence to hand over their waste to anyone who doesn’t have a valid Waste Collection Permit, adding that ‘many of the people who advertise waste collection services on social media, etc, do not have a valid waste collection permit. Members of the public will be prosecuted if their waste is found illegally dumped.’
If in doubt contact the Waste Management Office on 1850 365 121.
The county council will be putting additional CCTV in place in areas prone to dumping this year as it continues its crackdown on illegal dumping.