An investigation into environmental waste enforcement in Ireland

Alvaro Palomo-Navarro, Aidan McDermott, John Dooley, Ronan Farrell


Despite a number of campaigns conducted in Ireland to increase awareness about appropriate waste management, waste enforcement is still a significant issue. Decisions such as the privatisation of waste collection services and the introduction of new waste charges have contributed to some of the classic waste enforcement issues, like illegal dumping. In addition, the current economic recession affects the resources that local authorities have available to implement enforcement actions. In order to analyse the current situation of waste enforcement in Ireland, a survey was carried out amongst the 34 environmental departments within the Irish local authorities. This paper presents the survey findings. From the results, the principal current waste enforcement issues are extracted and compared with previous studies in the field. In addition, an analysis of the resources employed with regard to technology, personnel, legal prosecutions and best practices is also performed. The technologies and practices used are evaluated for efficiency at reducing the main illegal actions, such as illegal dumping, and compared to international best practices. Finally, the actions carried out by the local authorities in terms of public awareness and environmental education are reviewed.

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