Roscommon County Council spearhead successful anti-dumping initiatives

Last year (2023) the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications made funding available through the Waste Enforcement Regional Lead Authorities (WERLA) to support projects through the Anti-Dumping Initiative (ADI).

Roscommon County Council successfully submitted a number of proposals for funding under this Initiative which included awareness campaigns and bulky goods collections at Civic Amenity Sites. The total spend on these projects was €111,017.55.

The aim of the ADI is to fund projects which tackle problems using a collaborative approach involving local authorities and communities to eradicate litter blackspots and increase awareness of best practices in litter and waste management and minimisation. In summary, the focus of the ADI is on prevention, abatement, education and enforcement of anti-litter initiatives.

  A number of wide-ranging and effective initiatives were undertaken by the Environment section of Roscommon County Council. Among the initiatives were bulky goods collections and environmental enforcement training.

A series of campaigns were also successfully delivered by Roscommon County Council including the publication of a user-friendly, pocket-sized booklet entitled ‘A guide to Household Waste Management and Recycling’. A promotion highlighting awareness of Waste Presentation Bye-Laws was also successfully delivered.

Speaking following the delivery of a wide range of successful measures under the ADI, Environmental Education and Awareness Officer with Roscommon County Council Jonathan Jones, commended the efforts of the local authority’s environmental team and the public at large: “I wish to acknowledge the work of our environmental team who work closely with our local communities to deliver litter initiatives that are transformative and enduring, in the process educating and informing people as to the importance and value of litter prevention and waste minimisation”, he said.

“It is unfortunate that monies which could be used for promotional campaigns and education is being spent on clean-ups and removing litter blackspots. Nevertheless, there is a strong educational and support element of our services, which the vast majority of our citizens respond to enthusiastically and proactively”.

A cornerstone of the Council’s anti-dumping initiatives was the utilisation of each of the county’s four Civic Amenity sites, located in Ballaghaderreen, Boyle, Castlerea and Roscommon, with bulky goods collections held at each site.

Of the accumulated waste collections for the whole of 2023, 56.380 kg of bulky waste was collected. Of this waste, there was a total of 905 mattresses; 430 couches; 310 bed bases and 810 mixed furniture and armchairs pieces.

Roscommon County Council worked extensively with Bounce Back Recycling, a recognised social enterprise, to divert mattresses, couches, bed bases and armchairs away from landfill to be recycled.

Successful campaigns delivering waste removal

A further project delivered by Roscommon County Council under the ADI last year was the Ballaghaderreen Waste Project. This project engaged with households and commercial operators to ensure compliance with Waste Presentation Bye-Laws.

New innovative waste management

In October last year, Roscommon County Council published a new, user-friendly pocket booklet, entitled ‘A guide to Household Waste Management and Recycling’.

The booklet, which was elaborately illustrated, offered simple, effective and practical advice on how citizens should manage and dispose of their household waste using safe, efficient and effective measures to reduce and manage waste.

Another key feature of the work of Roscommon County Council’s Environment section was the promotion of a Waste Presentation Bye-Laws Awareness Campaign – a public information campaign in local newspapers, radio and social media, with the objective of increasing the number of households and commercial premises with a proper waste collection.

Reaching out to next generation

The focus of Roscommon County Council’s ADI projects wasn’t exclusively confined to waste management and waste minimisation. A key target is education and information on waste recycling and upcycling of used materials as part of the circular economy.

Textile Upcycling courses were organised throughout the county in the past twelve months. The purpose of these courses was two-fold – to engage with the public and secondary school students to highlight the environmental impact of the manufacture and disposal of textile/clothing waste.

Five upcycling workshops were organised and facilitated by Tutors from Cycle-up, an environmental and training social enterprise.

Such was the success of this project that demand grew among students in the county’s second level schools as a further two interactive upcycling demonstrations were provided to transition year students at St Nathy’s College in Ballaghaderreen.