FAILURE to use CCTV cameras in towns and villages across Clare to clamp down on fly tipping is “ruining” the reputation of some businesses, a county councillor has claimed.

Fly tipping remains an ongoing issue in West Clare, Cllr Ian Lynch (IND) flagged while seeking an update on the use of CCTV cameras in the county’s town and villages along with measures to tackle the problems of illegal dumping “with specific focus on the bottle banks in Kilrush car park”.

Utilising CCTV “for monitoring and investigating Illegal dumping is one that requires careful consideration as it impacts on the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR),” senior engineer in Clare County Council’s environment section, Cyril Feeney advised.

Neither the Litter Pollution Act 1997, the Waste Management Act 1996 nor the Local Government Act 2001 “are sufficient” for the deployment of CCTV for law enforcement purposes, the Data Protection Commissioner previously concluded. The Circular Economy Bill which is to be discussed in the Oireachtas “aims to provide for the GDPR-compliant use” of technologies such as CCTV for waste enforcement purposes,” Feeney observed.

In January, Limerick City and County Council were fined €110,000 for the improper use of CCTV without a lawful basis and reprimanded by the Data Protection Commissioner. Persons who are found to be responsible for, or involved in, the unauthorised disposal of waste are liable to a maximum fine of €5,000 on summary conviction and/or imprisonment for up to 12 months, and to a maximum fine of €15 million on conviction on indictment and/or imprisonment for up to 10 years.

Efforts to tackle illegal dumping and littering in Clare would be strengthened by the technology, Feeney acknowledged. He said checkpoints are carried out with An Garda Síochána “in order to target the illegal transport and disposal of waste materials. The checkpoints are conducted outside of normal business hours and across a number of locations”. Households which do not have a waste collection service are to be identified under the Waste Management Bye Laws to ensure correct disposal.

Regarding recent works at the bring banks in the Place de Plouzane car park, Feeney said the damage wall was repaired with new fencing erected “to deter waste being dumped behind the bottle bank boundary wall”. He committed to the removal of the existing temporary bottle banks.

Speaking at a sitting of the West Clare Municipal District, Cllr Lynch admitted there had been “huge frustration in Kilrush” surrounding the bottle banks. He said it was obvious the local authority were trying to clamp down on fly tipping but said the clean-ups associated with it was “costing the Council a fortune”.

Members of the outdoor crew were exposed to bags of household rubbish “every Monday morning” in Kilrush, Lynch commented. He criticised the “laziness” of some sections of the public not to put their items in the bottle banks correctly, “you are not being an active citizen but a plague on society”. He said ongoing dumping was “ruining businesses’ reputations”.

Cathaoirleach of the West Clare MD, Cllr Cillian Murphy (FF) recalled that one of West Clare’s beauty spots recently had to have a specialist contract “recover what was the contents of an entire house” in dumped items.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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