Tuesday 28 January 2020

Littering issues in the spotlight

The public aren't the only ones who need to be watched when it comes to littering.

This is the view of Cllr Malcolm Byrne who jokingly made reference to how his North Wexford colleague Cllr Robbie Ireton threw a cigarette packet into a river once while at a function.

Councillors had suggested using more cameras at litter blackspots.

When his cigarette throwing was questioned, Cllr Ireton replied: 'I was checking the flow and movement of the water (in the river).'

Chairman Cllr Paddy Kavanagh said councillors mightn't be happy about having cameras on them.

Cllr Johnny Mythen said the €150 littering fee needs to be doubled to €300 for it to have any prohibiting affect. Cllr Kavanagh said he has heard more complaints about the €2 recycling charge the council is introducing than the Local Property Tax. 'It seems to be a step too far. People abiding by the rules are being penalised yet again,' he said.

Director of Services for the Environment John Carley said he is on a national committee about littering and will raise councillors' suggestions about fines.

Cllr Kavanagh asked if dumping evidence recorded on a mobile phone is admissable in court.

Cllr John Fleming was recently involved as a witness in a littering case and he said pictures make a big difference when it comes to judge's handing down fines.

'In one case the judge handed down a €500 fine and in my case, when I had big pictures, a €750 fine was handed down. I got no expenses and I spent a whole day there. I was doing my public duty and it was an honour to do so.'

'Well done Cllr Fleming,' Cllr Larry O'Brien said.

The Fine Gael man asked if signs can be erected warning people to bring their bottles home with them if bottle banks are full. 'Some elderly people got serious fines. I fought their case but they had to pay. They were caught on camera.'

Cllr Willie Fitzharris said there was a serious problem with overflow in the bottle recycling bins in Wellingtonbridge recently, but once a call was made to the council's environment section, the matter was quickly resolved. 'We all can't be having a TD in our area,' Cllr Kavanagh replied.

Wexford People

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