Litter Management Plan
2008 - 2011
Plean Bainistíochta Bruscair
2008 - 2011
Waterford County Local Authorities
Civic Offices, Dungarvan, Co Waterford
Údaráis Áitiúla Chontae Phort Láirge
Oifigí Cathartha, Dún Garbhán, Co Phort Láirge
Ph: 058 22000 Fx: 058 20889
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Table of Contents/Clár Ábhair:
1.0 Executive Summary/Achoimre Fheidhmeach 3
2.0 Profile of County Waterford/Próifíl ar Chontae Phort Láirge 4
3.0 Introduction/Réamhrá 5
3.1 Why does Waterford County Council have this plan? 6
Dé chúis go bhfuil an plean seo ag Comhairle Contae Phort Láirge
3.2 Plan Adoption Process 8
Próiseas Glacachta an Phlean
3.3 WATERFORD COUNTY COUNCIL &
THE NATIONAL LITTER POLLUTION MONITORING SERVICE 9
COMHAIRLE CONTAE PHORT LÁIRGE & AN TSEIRBHÍS
NÁISIÚNTA MONATÓIREACHTA MAIDIR LE TRUAILLIÚ Ó BHRUSCAR
3.4 Actions taken to date by Waterford County Council 11
Gníomhartha tógtha chun dáta ag Comhairle Contae Phort Láirge
4.0 Objectives of the Litter Management Plan 2008-2011 12
Cuspóirí an Phlean Bainistíochta Bruscair 2008-2011
5.0 Policy Solutions to existing issues
Réitigh Pholasaí do cheisteanna atá ann cheana féin 14
5.1 Education and Awareness/Oideachas & Feasacht 14
5.2 Enforcement/Forfheidhmiú 16
5.3 EPA publication through the Environmental Enforcement
Network – See Something, Say Something 17
Foilseachán de chuid an GCC tríd an Líonra um Fhorfheidhmiú
na Timpeallachta – See Something, Say Something
6.0 Conclusion/Conclúid 18
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1.0 Executive Summary / Achoimre Fheidhmeach
This Litter Management Plan reaffirms Waterford County Council’s commitment to the
Environment in which we live and to Litter prevention throughout the county.
The quality of our environment is intrinsic to our quality of life. No-one questions that we have a
serious litter problem nationally and locally and that this needs to be addressed urgently.
Protection of the environment is a real concern and perhaps the biggest challenge facing
Waterford County Council is that of how to motivate the public into action against litter. Litter
Pollution is a major threat to the quality of County Waterford and Ireland’s environment.
Waterford County Council acknowledges the primary management and enforcement responses
to the litter problem must come from the Council and this plan outlines how Waterford Co. Co.
will respond to the challenges that this represents. However, responsible practices and actions
by the business community and the general public are also necessary to end the blight of litter
pollution in County Waterford. This plan also seeks to maximise public involvement and focuses
on a dual approach with community groups and schools.
This replacement Litter Management Plan aims to build on the experience and the success
gained from its predecessor and also aims to make further improvements in all areas addressed
in this document. In broad terms, this Plan will strive to make all areas of Co. Waterford as Litter
free as possible through the use of education, awareness, enforcement and the application of
Waterford County Council’s and Dungarvan Town Council’s street cleaning capabilities.
This plan was adopted by Waterford County Council on 8th December 2008 and covers the
entire county including the Urban Districts of Dungarvan, Lismore and Tramore.
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2.0 Profile of County Waterford / Próifíl ar Chontae Phort Láirge
County Waterford is located on the south east coast of Ireland bordering the counties of Cork,
Tipperary, Kilkenny and Wexford. Together with the County Councils of Carlow, Kilkenny, South
Tipperary, Wexford and Waterford City Council, it forms part of the South East Region. The
functional area of Waterford County Council amounts in total to 181,300 hectares. This
comprises the entire area of County Waterford, excluding Waterford City. The area of the county
is approximately 710 square miles. County Waterford has a coastline which extends from the
estuary of the River Suir, in the east, to Youghal, in the west. The county is bordered to the
south by the Atlantic Ocean for approximately 145 kilometers. Waterford can boast some 49
beaches, among which are numbered some of Ireland’s premier tourist resorts. The largest of
these is Tramore, which has approximately 3km of sandy beach. In addition to this, Co.
Waterford has for many years held a high profile position within the National Tidy Towns
competition and can boast two past winners in Lismore and Ardmore. This has helped to attract
tourism to the county which is of vital importance for employment opportunities and availability of
services. High quality agricultural land in many parts of the county has potential for the retention
of profitable commercial farming. Waterford County Council is the local authority responsible for
administration of the county. Within the county there are three Town Councils – Lismore,
Tramore and Dungarvan. Each Town Council, within the county area, comes under the
jurisdiction of the County Manager. Dungarvan Town Council is a rating authority and is a local
authority for the purposes of the Litter Management Act. The 2006 preliminary census report
indicated a 9.2% increase in the population of the county, the highest growth rate in the region.
The total population of the county stands at 62,167, an increase of 5,215 over 2002 census
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3.0 Introduction / Réamhrá
In drafting a replacement Litter Management Plan for County Waterford, the Council is
endeavouring to ensure the new Plan is as comprehensive as possible covering all rural and
urban areas in the county. The purpose of the new Plan is to introduce policies for the
management and control of litter in the County. The previous Litter Management Plan’s main
Promotion of Education/Awareness activities.
Partnership with community groups, tidy town committees and schools.
These objectives were reached through:
Creating an increased awareness of the problem and undertaking public education
Developing partnerships with Community Groups, Tidy Towns Committees and Schools.
Organising anti-litter campaigns and participating in National Campaigns e.g. National Spring
Providing assistance to those undertaking litter control duties in their own area.
Improving Waterford County Council performance in relation to Enforcement procedures.
Providing funding under the Anti Litter Awareness Grants in association with the Department
of the Environment, Heritage & Local Government.
Undertaking Litter Surveys as part of the National Litter Pollution Monitoring Survey to feed
into the national litter pollution picture.
Improving waste management through additional recycling, segregation of waste and
The introduction of appropriate byelaws reinforcing the main objectives.
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3.1 Why does Waterford County Council have this plan? / Dé chúis go bhfuil an plean seo
ag Comhairle Contae Phort Láirge
County Waterford’s reputation as a tourist destination is damaged by the ongoing presence of
litter. The Litter Pollution Act, 1997, makes all Local Authorities statutorily responsible for the
abatement of litter within their functional areas. Under this Act, Section 10 places an obligation
on each Local Authority to make and implement a Litter Management Plan in respect of its
functional area. Litter is defined in the Act as ‘any substance or object, whether or not intended
as waste (other than waste within the meaning of the Waste Management Act 1996, which is
properly consigned for disposal) that, when deposited in a place other than a litter receptacle or
lawfully designated for the deposit, is or likely to become unsightly, deleterious, nauseous or
unsanitary, whether by itself or with any other substance or object, and regardless of its size or
volume or the extent of the deposit.’
This Plan recognises the problem of litter will not be eradicated unless every sector of society
takes responsibility for its share of the solution. We need to recognise as a society that litter is
not the sole responsibility of Local Authority and that cleansing alone is not the most cost-
effective or sustainable, long term solution. There is an undoubted need for a major change in
public attitudes to littering, as it needs to be viewed as an anti social and uncivil act. This
change of attitude needs to be complemented by a consistent and high profile enforcement
policy by the Council so that fines and prosecutions are utilised to their full extent.
This Litter Management Plan 2008 - 2011, for the prevention and control of litter, sets out to
achieve quantifiable improvements in litter performance throughout County Waterford. It is
intended that all measures to be undertaken are realistic and measurable. The continued
improvements seen in service indicators over the past number of years must be continued in the
timeframe of this plan. Below is a selection of the service indicators relevant to this and where
further developments on these trends must be achieved.
Environmental Services 2004 2005 2006 2007
% of household waste recycled 23.41 41.26 46.06 47.24
Tonnage of waste collected for recycling – glass N/A N/A 1104 1344
Tonnage of household waste collected which is sent to landfill N/A 11,400 7,804 5,442
% of primary schools participating in environmental campaigns 56 62 59 69.64
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Littering is a waste of potential resources. Many litter items can be recycled, but if they are
littered, they either pollute the environment or end up in landfill where they can no longer be
Examples of activities that are subject to penalty under the Litter Pollution Acts 1997
While this list is not exhaustive, each of these activities is subject to an on the spot fine of €150!
Throwing items from cars.
Not cleaning up dog fouling when out for a walk or in a public place.
Dropping cigarette butts and/or chewing gum on the ground.
Leaving waste on beaches.
Dropping fast food packaging on the ground.
Not tying rubbish down in trailers or on trucks.
Dumping materials/fly tipping in areas other than bins.
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3.2 Adopting the Plan / Próiseas Glacachta an Phlean
The following is the process in broad terms of how the Litter Management Plan 2008-2011 has
been drafted, amended and received final approval by Waterford Co. Co.
The Litter Management Plan 2008 – 2011 being a replacement of its predecessor has been
prepared and complied by the Environment Education and Awareness Officer.
Firstly, the plan is presented to the November 2008 meeting of the Environment Strategic Policy
Secondly, the plan is put on public display and submissions are invited from interested voluntary
and representative bodies.
The plan must then be approved by the S.P.C. and recommended to go before the full Council
Once plan has been adopted, it must be distributed and disseminated as widely as possible so
that all interested parties and the general public have access to same.
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3.3 WATERFORD COUNTY COUNCIL & THE NATIONAL LITTER POLLUTION MONITORING SERVICE
COMHAIRLE CONTAE PHORT LÁIRGE & AN TSEIRBHÍS NÁISIÚNTA MONATÓIREACHTA MAIDIR LE
TRUAILLIÚ Ó BHRUSCAR
The National Litter Pollution Monitoring System (NLPMS) is an innovative method developed by the
Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government and Tobin Consulting Engineers to
enable local authorities to manage litter pollution in a systematic, structured manner. The information
gathered provides essential data to facilitate decision making in relation to litter management at
local, regional and national levels. Using a specially designed Geographical Information System
(GIS) application each local authority functional area is mapped and then surveyed annually using
Litter Pollution Surveys and Litter Quantification Surveys. The data produced by the System allows
local authorities to gauge:
the extent and severity of litter pollution in their functional area;
the types, most likely sources and causes of litter;
the changes in litter levels from location to location and over time;
the location of litter black-spots; and
the impact of new anti-litter measures.
Waterford County Council has participated in this programme from its inception. Detailed analysis of
the surveys, undertaken by the Environment Inspectors and collated by Tobin Consulting Engineers,
allows the Council to tailor the anti litter message to tackle the areas highlighted in the surveys. The
detailed analysis of litter composition in County Waterford in 2006 is presented following this
information. Full results are available on http://www.litter.ie/system_survey_results/index.shtml .
Based on this analysis and from information gained from the work of IBAL, this Litter Management
Plan, 2008 – 2011, will target cigarette related litter, long lie litter, chewing gum and dog fouling
while continuing to promote a very strong anti litter message throughout County Waterford.
The following table shows the areas above that are currently of particular concern.
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3.4 Actions taken to date by Waterford County Council
Gníomhartha tógtha chun dáta ag Comhairle Contae Phort Láirge
Recent years have seen a lot of work started and completed by Community Groups in
association with Waterford County Council.
Examples of this work can be found in the hugely successful annual Comeragh Clean Up’s
which has seen extremely large quantities of waste removed from the Comeragh mountains as
part of the National Spring Clean campaign.
In addition, local schools have also gotten involved in clean ups. The photo below shows staff
and students of Abbeyside National School in the aftermath of their beach clean up on
Abbeyside strand which took place in May 2008.
Through the work of the Education and Awareness Officer in association with the Green Schools
program, numerous schools are visited throughout the year with an emphasis put on litter
prevention and management as part of the curriculum.
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4.0 Objectives of Litter Management Plan 2008-2011 Plan:
Cuspóirí an Phlean Bainistíochta Bruscair 2008-2011
During the review of the previous Litter Management Plan, new areas to highlight the extent of
litter pollution became evident. As solutions were found for old problems new ones were
identified. As can be seen on the table above, the main litter problem in the County is
associated with cigarette butts (70.89%), Chewing gum (16.43%) and dog fouling (2.31%).
Waterford County Council recognises the importance of mounting strategic anti litter campaigns
to deal with these problems.
4.1 To intensify the vigorous enforcement of the Litter Pollution Act 1997 and to review
current policies regarding enforcement to ensure that maximum use is being made of the
enforcement powers of local authorities under the Act.
4.2 To keep implementing the National Litter Pollution Monitoring System and to use it to
actively monitor the activities and performance of Waterford County Council in tackling
4.3 To mount public awareness anti litter campaigns to specifically target cigarette related
litter, chewing gum and dog fouling.
4.4 To actively encourage increased public participation in anti litter awareness activities at a
4.5 To heighten public awareness of both individual and commercial sectors’ responsibilities
towards litter and waste management in local and countywide environments including
other Public Sector bodies and private business
4.6 To further develop a comprehensive schools education programme that focuses on anti
litter measures and waste reduction as an effective strategy for environmental protection.
4.7 To provide funding under the Anti Litter Grants Scheme in association with the
Department of the Environment, Heritage & Local Government.
4.8 To ensure the Council abides by responsibilities to ensure that its own activities do not
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The majority of these objectives can only be achieved through adopting a partnership approach
for dealing with the problems associated with litter pollution. Among the activities Waterford
County Council currently undertakes in regards to our responsibilities include:
Provision of mechanical street sweeping services in all major urban areas
Provision of manual street sweepers, to keep areas the mechanical street sweeper
cannot reach, free from litter
During the summer months 17 people were hired for a number of hours each week to
perform beach cleaning duties at 5 beach locations throughout the county including
Clonea, Ardmore, Bunmahon, Dunmore East and Tramore.
Bins are provided at beach locations to give the general public the opportunity to dispose
of their waste in a legal manner – these bins emptied by Waterford County Council staff
on a regular basis
A mechanized beach cleaner is also employed on certain beaches which filters the sand
and removes any litter etc. that may exist – this area to be reviewed with a view to
increasing the level of mechanization currently available
Current policy is not to provide bins at woodland amenity sites due to its tendency to
attract illegal dumping
Support is offered to National and all local Tidy Towns Organizations which will be
intensified and extended
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5.0 Policy Solutions to existing issues
Réitigh Pholasaí do cheisteanna atá ann cheana féin
5.1 Education and Awareness / Oideachas & Feasacht
Waterford County Council recognises that everyone has a part to play in preventing litter
pollution throughout the county. There is no simple solution to tackling a litter problem. Short
term campaigns may have an impact for a while but the problem often returns. Solving a litter
problem requires the co-operation of a wide range of people and a permanent long term
The Council also employs an Environmental Education and Awareness Officer who deals with
various elements of promoting sustainable litter and waste management practices, including
undertaking school and community related visits, administering grant aid (funding from the
Department of the Environment, Heritage & Local Government and Waterford County Council) to
local community groups. Waterford County Council develops and promotes Education and
Awareness programmes aimed at various audiences, including (but not limited to):
Youth groups (including schools and youth reach groups)
Commerce & Industry
Community leaders & Representatives
It is felt by working with these target groups, the problems associated with litter pollution will be
highlighted and solutions can then be identified. Some of the best examples of this partnership
approach is the work the Education and Awareness Officer does with schools on the Green
Schools program in association with An Taisce, the assistance given to each community action
group that takes part in the National Spring Clean and the partnership between the National
Tree Council of Ireland and Waterford County Council during National Tree Week.
The Objectives for the New Litter Management Plan 2008-2011 will ensure the Partnership
Approach is to the forefront when dealing with litter pollution across Co Waterford.
The following initiatives are examples of how Waterford County Council is promoting the anti-
litter agenda throughout the county.
Weekly publication of Environment Today notes in the 5 regional papers with focus on
Litter related issues
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Green Tips initiative on WLR FM local radio station with Litter being a theme featured
Green Schools program
Green Homes program being rolled out late in 2008
Green Schools Travel Program started mid 2008 in partnership with the Dept. Of
Transport and An Taisce
Waste Electrical Electronic Equipment taken free of charge into Waterford County
Council Civic Amenity Sites in Dungarvan, Tramore and Lismore
Support for local Tidy Towns committees
Environmental Partnership – Local Agenda 21 funding
Waste Batteries taken back from the public at the three Civic Amenity Sites and from all
schools in the county
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5.2 Enforcement / Forfheidhmiú
Every piece of litter harms our environment and is potentially dangerous to our community.
Examples of litter offences are given: Throwing items from cars; Not cleaning up dog fouling
when out for a walk or in a public place; Dropping cigarette butts and/or chewing gum on the
ground; Dropping fast food packaging on the ground; Not tying rubbish down in trailers or on
trucks; Dumping materials/fly tipping in areas other than bins. Each of these activities is subject
to a minimum fine of €150.
At present Waterford County Council and Dungarvan Town Council has a complement of 5 full
time Environment Inspectors to deal with litter related activities, which include:
Dealing with dumping/littering incidents in the County.
Issuing ‘On The Spot Fines’ under the Litter Pollution Acts (1997-2003) and prosecuting
offenders under the Waste Management Acts (1996-2007).
Assisting with Local Groups with Clean Ups especially during National Spring Clean
Carrying out street patrols in towns and villages.
Carrying out summer time beach patrols
Enforcing household waste bye-laws.
The public have a variety of ways of reporting litter offences including:
o Telephoning the Litter Free Phone Number: 1800 201 501
o Emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
o Contacting the Environment Inspectors directly when on patrol, or
o Contacting the Enforcement Office directly.
It is envisaged all these methods ensure an open communication channel with the public of
County Waterford on an ongoing basis.
Waterford County Council’s Environmental Enforcement Office became fully operational in
January 2004. The office, which receives funding from the Environment Fund, has among its
Improved compliance with comprehensive environmental legislation covering areas such
as Litter, Waste, Derelict Sites, Air Quality and;
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To ensure that those who flout environmental law and cause environmental pollution as a
result of their actions, are held to account.
Waterford County Council Enforcement Statistics 2007 (in relation to litter)
o 103 Litter fines were issued
o 3 successful prosecutions were secured
o 968 Complaints were logged and investigated by the Enforcement Section during 2007. These
included litter related complaints.
An ongoing planned programme of activities was undertaken during the year to tackle abandoned
vehicles, dog fouling (new signage and awareness campaign to being before of 2008), and backyard
burning, together with the NLPMS surveys which were undertaken during the summer period.
5.3 EPA publications through the Environmental Enforcement Network – See Something,
Foilseachán de chuid an GCC tríd an Líonra um Fhorfheidhmiú na Timpeallachta –
See Something, Say Something
The EPA issued a document on How to Make an Environmental Complaint in June 2007. The
document outlines the following:
A. Who to contact
B. What to Say and Do
C. Directory of Relevant Agencies
It is the policy of Waterford County Council to support awareness of the See Something,
Say Something Campaign!
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6.0 Conclusion / Conclúid
6.1 Certain measures in this Plan will need to be devolved to groups other than the Local
Authority. It is envisaged there will be greater links with these groups and a partnership
approach will be adopted as one of the main methods of promoting a litter free environment.
Finally, some easily adopted actions can put an end to litter including:
Think tidy and lessen litter.
Pick Up – it only takes a moment to pick up a piece of litter and put it in the bin.
Take Home – if there is no bin available, take home your litter.
Speak Out – if you see someone dropping litter or illegally dumping litter; report it to the
Get Involved – if there is a Tidy Towns Committee or a Residents Association in your
area support it.
Learn – from the children involved in the Green Schools projects, take the information
home and implement there too – save the Environment and save money on your bills in
6.2 Monitoring / Monatóireacht
Updates will be provided to elected members before the March of each of the years Waterford
County Council’s Litter Management Plan 2008-2011 will be in force.
6.3 Review of Plan / Athbhreithniú ar an bPlean
The Litter Management Plan is due for review in 2011.
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