Illegal dumping in the landscape is cause for serious concern and a growing problem for many communities. Dumping is illegal, unsightly and unnecessary, causing serious problems to habitats, species, and human health. It pollutes our water courses, damages soil nutrients, encroaches on habitat space, kills insects and animals, and is a threat to both the people who live in the area and recreational users.
PURE (Protecting Uplands & Rural Environments) is an environmental project established to combat this increase in illegal dumping/fly-tipping that occurs in the Wicklow/Dublin uplands and was officially launched in September 2006.
The PURE project is a regional initiative, the first of its kind in Ireland, which incorporates local authorities including; Wicklow County Council, South Dublin County Council, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, Dublin City Council, as well as Coillte, National Parks & Wildlife Service, Fáilte Ireland, and a number of non-statutory organisations represented by the Wicklow Uplands Council, to halt incidents of small scale illegal dumping/fly-tipping in the Wicklow/Dublin upland regions.
In a time when the majority of the public continually strive to enhance our natural environment, a minority number of people undermine these actions by needlessly dumping rubbish in our landscape. The continual increase in recycling is further evidence that the general public have a deep appreciation and awareness of our natural environment; unfortunately, some people just don’t care.
On a monthly basis the PURE project collects over 30 tonnes of illegally dumped rubbish from the upland areas. A considerable amount of this material is recyclable and can be brought free of charge to recycling centres. Since the establishment of PURE in 2007 the project has removed approximately 1,500 tonnes of illegally dumped rubbish from the landscape, involving over 3,600 individual collections. This amounts to over 1,500,000kg of rubbish. If you were to put all of this rubbish into standard household rubbish bags you would fill over 214,000 bags. It is difficult to comprehend the amount of rubbish that the project has actually removed from the uplands. However, imagine the publics reaction if over 214,000 bags of rubbish were dumped in the Wicklow/Dublin Mountains in just one day. If you lined up each of the bags that the PURE project has removed from the uplands they would stretch over 214 kilometres in length, which is longer than a journey from Glendalough to Galway. The figure above excludes the amounts collected by each of the local authorities associated with the PURE project. Fridges, washing machines, cookers, TV’s, baths, batteries, furniture, black bags of rubbish, builders rubble, toilets, car tyres, and much more are collected on a regular basis from some of the most aesthetic, scenic, and frequented areas in Ireland.
The PURE project encounter varying degrees of indiscriminate acts of illegal dumping, from a single black bag left on a road side, to tonnes of illegally dumped rubbish in a forest. There is no need for illegal dumping as all local recycling centres accept unwanted goods such as glass, cans, plastics, plastic bottles and containers, cardboard, newspaper and magazines, office paper, batteries, and much more. Material not excepted at recycling centre can be brought to your nearest landfill site.
Under the government’s Waste Electrical & Electronic Equipment Directive, (WEEE), your local re-cycling centre will also accept all of your old electrical appliances FREE OF CHARGE. Fridges, washing machines, cookers, TV’s and various other electrical equipment can be left into recycling centres where they are decontaminated and disassembled, with no cost to the public. Alternatively, if you are replacing and electrical appliance, the retailer must take back the used one; this is also FREE OF CHARGE. The same system applies if you are having a new electrical item delivered to your home. Buy a new washing machine, give them the old one. It’s simple.
Although the introduction of the WEEE directive has seen a dramatic decline in the dumping of these materials, unfortunately, the PURE truck continues to regularly collect electrical appliances from the landscape. Over 500 single items of electrical equipment was collected in 2007 which increased to over 800 in 2008. Fortunately in 2009 and 2010 we saw a reduction in the amount of electrical equipment dumped in the uplands, with a combined figure of 795 for the two years. These items contain numerous hazardous materials and cause substantial damage to our environment and there is no reason why any of this material should end up in our environment.
When You See Dumping In The Wicklow/Dublin Uplands
Lo-Call 1850 365 121
And the Pure Project will remove it.