Tipperary County Council has stated that it welcomes the focus which 'RTE Investigates' has brought to bear on illegal waste activities around the country and the constructive debate that has been generated by this investigation.
“The programme underlines the complexity and challenges presented in the enforcement of good waste management practices and the various actions being taken by local authorities and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA),” stated a spokesperson.
“However, it is the Council`s view that an assessment of waste management performance based on metrics which include spend per head of population does not give a full picture of the extent or impact of our waste enforcement activities.
“An assessment of Local Authority Enforcement Performance published by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for 2014, 2015 and 2016 shows that Tipperary County Council achieved the required targets for waste over the three year period.”
Tipperary County Council has issued 24 active Waste Facility Permits and 9 active Certificates of Registration to operators in the County. Routine Waste Inspections and non routine waste inspections are conducted annually as part of Tipperary County Council’s Environment Inspection Plan and these are returned to the EPA.
Every year, the Council undertakes over 3,000 environmental inspections for air, noise, water/wastewater and waste. The latest figures available for the County are for 2016 which show that Tipperary County Council undertook 1,040 such inspections related to waste permits and illegal dumping, of which 948 were planned and 92 were unplanned waste inspections (on-the-spot checks).
In the same year, 2016, Tipperary County Council staff also investigated 1,366 waste litter complaints and 44 illegal dumping instances.
On foot of its inspections the Council, in 2016, took action by issuing 75 Warning Letters and 12 Enforcement Notices against persons carrying on the unauthorised transfer, collection, holding, recovery and disposal of waste, and, non-compliance with existing authorisations.
Dealing with unauthorised waste activities requires a multi agency approach to tackling the issues and collaborating with other public agencies in order to secure compliance and, if necessary, successful prosecutions. The primary responsibility for compliance with waste regulations rests with waste operators.
Members of the public have an important role to play, by reporting unauthorised waste activities in their area to Tipperary County Council and ensuring their own waste is correctly and legally disposed of.
The Council continues to work with community groups in transforming known black spots for waste disposal into community amenity facilities through the anti-dumping grant scheme.
The Council added: “Tipperary Co. Council prepares an Environment Inspection plan at the start of each year which lists the planned inspections to monitor and enforce Waste, Air/Noise, Water/Wastewater and Producer Responsibility permits and facilities. This Environment Inspection Plan is reviewed quarterly by the Council and adjusted accordingly. Staff time is apportioned across the various work programmes to ensure compliance with our regulatory obligations and prioritise inspections and enforcements to ensure effective use of available resources. In 2016 a full time staff of 12 was assigned to implement the Plan.”