Donegal County Council says programme doesn’t reflect in full work being done to tackle illegal waste

Donegal County Council says that it does not feel that the metric used in an RTE programme last night in terms of expenditure on waste regulation represents accurately the work being done to tackle illegal waste sites in the county.

Donegal County Council has issued a statement this evening to Ocean FM News following the revelations in last night’s RTE Investigates programme.

Donegal County Council confirms that, in collaboration with a number of other agencies, it has been and will continue to investigate and take action in relation to the matters raised in last evening’s RTE Investigates programme into the alleged non-compliance with waste legislation at the sites identified in the programme.

The Council has requested from RTE footage and other records that may assist the Council in these investigations.

Donegal County Council says it has played a pivotal role in the establishment and operation of new regional and national structures to strengthen waste management and enforcement activities.

As outlined by the EPA to Ocean FM News earlier today, three new Waste Enforcement Regional Lead Authorities have been established under the guidance of a national steering committee.

Donegal County Council says it works closely with these Authorities and feels their establishment sends a strong signal to the industry.

The Council says it does not accept that the metric presented by the RTE Investigates programme relating to expenditure on waste regulation, enforcement and associated activities is representative of the work that Donegal County Council undertakes in this area.

The Council deploys extensive resources in relation to the regulation and enforcement of waste management legislation, environmental awareness, management of recycling, supporting communities in relation to enhancing the environment etc.

This commitment by Donegal County Council to its work in waste enforcement is evident by the fact that the Council achieved the required ‘target’ grade for waste enforcement in the EPA’s publication ‘Focus on Local Authority Environmental Enforcement 2014 – 2016 Performance Report’.

Donegal County Council has recently secured funding approval from the Department of the Environment to recruit additional staff in the area of Waste Enforcement.

One of these positions has been filled and the recruitment process is underway for the remainder.

Donegal County Council reiterates that it is fully committed to enforcing the regulation and management of waste to ensure we continue to live in healthy communities and protection is afforded to our environment.

Meanwhile, the Council’s Environment Committee is expected to hold an emergency meeting in wake of the programme.