enforcement the only answer?

One of life’s unwritten rules: There will always be those who obey the law without question, and there will always be those who don’t. So, I think it’s fair to say that unless the law is enforced, there’s a very good chance it will be ignored.

And although ignorance is not considered a defence, a lot of the population is actually unaware of the law in relation to the disposal of waste. They know it costs money, but are they aware of the fines? more importantly aware of the dangers?

gnorantia juris non excusat or ignorantia legis neminem excusat
(Latin for “ignorance of the law does not excuse” or “ignorance of the law excuses no one”) is a legal principle …                 Source Wikipedia

Following on from a piece I wrote earlier in the year
“a new breed of gansters”,
I ask the question? What is the solution?

The policy is in place.

A Resource Opportunity
Waste Management Policy in Ireland 

The office of environmental enforcement works with local authorities and other public sector bodies involved through the network for ireland’s environmental compliance and enforcement (NIECE). The function of NIECE is to harness the collective resources, expertise and investigative capacity of all the agencies engaged in dealing with environmental crime in Ireland.

Headlines such as Aughrim man fined €750 for burning waste show that enforcement in place in Wicklow and they encourage the public to report litter offences, assuring them of confidentiality via their website

PURE Lo-call no 1850 36 51 21 so you can conveniently report litter offences or call the Main Environmental Office on 0404 20296 or email env@wicklowcoco.ie

Leitrim county council don’t have any enforcement policies (that I can find) displayed on their website and  have deferred the Pay-by-Weight Waste Collection System until 1st December 2014.
Longford County Council from time to time carry out waste surveys to establish what method of waste disposal each household is currently using. They have never contacted me. I have been living here for 13 years.
Galway and Limerick county councils offer details of The Waste Management (Prohibition of Waste Disposal by Burning) Regulations 2009, but no mention of enforcement, while Louth have lots of information on their Promotion of Litter Control through both education and enforcement section. They are also  running an innovative  Where Have You Bin’ competition in conjunction with iRadio to promote awareness ..…… Some councils don’t even have a link to their waste policy on their home page. Sligo Council is one that is taking this seriously and enacted by-laws to address the issue. But more importantly they enforce the law. They visit householders and ask for documentation on waste disposal.


How many  local authorities are actually enforcing the law?

Is your local council?

It must be within their remit to:

  1. Implement by-laws for the enforcement of proof of disposal of waste;
  2. Educate people on the harm that is caused to ourselves, our families and our communities by damaging our environment with the burning of household. 

When contacted the majority of local councils offered lack of resourses due to the moratorium on public recruitment as the reason for failure to apply the law.

Yet it seems to be unlimited public funds are available for the ongoing enforcement of  the TV Licence law Or the Public Service Broadcasting Charge as it is to become- you don’t even need a TV now to be liable for the charge! They advertise on TV and on Radio; inspectors are available nationwide to crack down on offenders; fines and jail sentances are a common occurance.

But enforcing a law to stop causing unnecessary harm to our health and to the environment – no money – NOT GOOD ENOUGH!

EcoEvolution’s MaryGethings writes about the dangers it her blog:
Burning of waste ~ Not in my back yard!

So, what can we do to stop this?
We must lobby our councils, our county councillers and our TDs.
We must insist that this illegal practice is stopped.
We must stop the burning of plastics and toxins.

This is too important a matter to leave to those that don’t seem to care.
Click here for a list of county council contact details

A great website/tool for reporting local problems is
Fix My Local area

Fresh clean air is a human right.
We must protect it from the everyday criminals.

jFresh Air


About Pat Murphy

True to me; Mother, Wife, Friend, Environmentalist; Living comfortably; Being warm; Knowing what's enough; Chair of WFQA (Irish wood fuel quality assurance scheme)
This entry was posted in Litter, living comfortably and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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