The Litter Pollution Act, 1997 introduced penalties in Ireland to help combat the problems of litter pollution more effectively. The definition of 'litter' under this legislation is quite wide and extends from casual pieces of paper or cigarette ends to anything large or small that is, or is likely to become, unsightly.
Longford County Council is responsible for implementing this act and keeping public places clear of litter as far as is practicably possible.
Litter Management Plan
Longford County Council is currently in the process of preparing a litter management plan. This plan sets out the Council's objectives to prevent and control litter, as well as measures to encourage public awareness of litter. The plan also sets out the measures and arrangements to achieve its objectives.
In preparing a litter management plan, a draft of the plan will go before the Council's Strategic Policy Committee and, if approved, the consultation process will begin with local community and voluntary interest groups before going before Longford County Council elected members for adoption. Thereafter, the Litter Management Plan will be available on Longfordcoco.ie.
Report litter by filling out our Environmental Complaint Form or by calling Longford County Council Litter Hotline on 1800 434 450.
Fines for littering
Leaving or throwing litter in a public place is an offence that can be subject to an on-the-spot fine of €150 or a maximum fine of €3,000 if you are convicted of a litter offence in the District Court. If you are convicted of a litter offence, you may also be required by the court to pay the local authority's costs and expenses investigating the offence and incurred in bringing the prosecution.
Litter and public places
If you either own or are responsible for a place to which the public has access (for example, places like a school grounds, public park, transport stations or the precincts of a shopping centre), you are obliged by law to keep the place litter-free, regardless of how the litter got there.
Litter and private property
The owner or occupier of property that can be seen from a public place, is also obliged to keep the property free of litter. This means that any outdoor area on your property visible from a public place must be kept free of litter. Failure to keep your property free of litter can result in a fine or prosecution by your local authority.
Where litter has accumulated on property for any reason and this litter is visible from a public place, the local authority can issue a notice to the owner or occupier requiring the prompt removal of the litter. Such a notice can also set down precautionary measures to be put in place to prevent a reoccurrence. If a property owner or occupier fails or refuses to do everything that has been requested, the local authority has the power to do whatever is necessary itself and require the owner or occupier to pay all of the costs involved.
Litter control at major events
The promoters or organizers of major events (i.e. social and sporting events) are required to ensure that they have litter control measures in place at the venue and in the surrounding vicinity before, during and after the event.
To erect temporary signage, fill out the Temporary Signage Form. When complete, email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The litter laws have increased the powers of your local authority to combat the problem of illegal dumping of refuse and rubbish. If you see someone dumping illegally, you should report the matter to your local authority who will investigate and take any necessary enforcement action.
Information that you give can be treated confidentially although you are encouraged to give your contact details as authorities may wish to follow-up with you in relation to the investigation of illegal dumping.
If your local authority finds material that is illegally dumped and establishes the identity of the owner of the material, that person will have a case to answer without necessarily having to be caught in the act. In addition, extra powers are also available to your local authority to require a householder or business operator to indicate how and where they are disposing of their waste. This is particularly relevant if the householder or business owner is not availing of a refuse collection service or is not bringing their waste to an authorized disposal facility.
Dog owners must remove their pets waste from public places and dispose of it in a proper manner. Failure to do so is an offence.
Presenting Your Refuse for Collection
It is your responsibility to store and present your refuse for collection in a sealed container. You should put out refuse for collection on the morning of the collection and not on the day or night before. The longer it is left out for collection, the more likely it is to attract the unwanted attention of dogs, cats, birds or rodents. It is an offence to dispose of your household refuse in street litter bins. If you do so, you will face prosecution by your local authority.