Japanese culture is an example for the people of Shannon to follow in order to clamp down on the rate of littering in the town.
Complaints on the rate of littering and dog waste left around Shannon was raised by local councillors at a recent sitting of the Shannon Municipal District.
Introduction of more bins “with a particular emphasis on dog waste bins” were sought by Cllr Donna McGettigan (SF) in Shannon. She felt that the nationwide inter-agency campaign, Leave No Trace “does not seem to be working”.
Senior executive engineer, Tom Mellett outlined, “Under the Litter Pollution Acts 1997-2003, dog-owners are required to clean up after their animals if they foul in a public spaces. Failure to do so can result in an on-the-spot fine of €150. Dog waste bags are available at MD offices free of charge and they can be placed in any waste bin. The Municipal District Office will be carrying out an audit of existing bins and their condition with a view to ensuring the current stock is fit for purpose”.
As reported by The Clare Echo last month, just one find for dog fouling in 2020 was paid across the entire county. 83 complaints were submitted on the subject of dog fouling.
Ensuring more people were hit with fines would lead to greater compliance from the public, Cllr McGettigan felt. She acknowledged dog owners who were reluctant to carry the faeces on long-distance walks which she underlined necessitated the requirement of more bins. She said there are seven bins on the outskirts of Shannon Town Park but a shortage of them along the Loop Walk.
Either way, there would be problems encountered, Cllr Gerry Flynn (IND) predicted. “A lot of people in this District will use the bins for disposal of household waste, you will always have people who break the law. A lot of people are saying ‘more bins more bins’, you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t”.
Cathaoirleach of the Shannon MD, Cllr Pat McMahon (FF) suggested taking a leaf out of the book of their Japanese counterparts. He believed the problem stemmed from Irish culture. “The Japanese have no bins in the National Park in Tokyo, they bring their rubbish home and 99% of them adhere”.