In a sitting of Waterford District Court on November 22nd 2021, Waterford City and County Council secured a prosecution against an unauthorised waste collector for the 2019 illegal collection and subsequent dumping of waste from a cliff near Annestown, Co Waterford.
The dumping, first reported in July 2019, occurred in part of the UNESCO Copper Coast Geopark in an area with a Special Protection designation for birds.
The clean-up operation, carried out by a specialist “working at heights” team, safely removed 3.2 tonnes of waste from the cliff top.
Prosecutions were also taken against the householder who gave their waste to the collector, as well as the waste collector themselves, who did not have a valid Waste Collection Permit. Waterford City and County Council subsequently dropped the prosecution of the householder as they provided information to secure the conviction of the Waste Collector.
In sentencing Judge Staunton described illegal dumping as a “scourge” and highlighted the efforts locals undertake to promote tourism, mentioning that dumping like this in a beauty spot undermines that public effort.
The waste collector was sentenced to 6 months in jail, in addition to a €200 fine and €6,100 in costs.
Speaking following the judgement, Waterford City and County Council’s Senior Executive Engineer, Niall Kane said, “This case highlights the importance of the public checking to make sure a collector has a waste collection permit. Legitimate waste collectors must carry a copy of their waste collection permit and have their permit number on their vehicle. Collectors can be checked on NWCPO.ie to see if they have a permit. Remember it is an offence to give your waste to an unauthorised waste collector.”