KILKENNY Borough Council has vowed to get tougher on those who litter, fly-tip, or fail to clean up after their dog.
At last week’s meeting of the borough council, the members discussed the new draft litter management plan. With the recent implementation of the ‘Love your dog, Love your city’ campaign, dog fouling once again topped the list of councillors’ concerns.
“This is a very serious problem,” said Cllr John Coonan (FF).
“Everyone loves animals, but there is a healthy percentage that are just letting their dogs out to do this.”
The council’s Environmental Awareness Officer Bernadette Moloney said it was time to ramp up the anti-dog fouling awareness initiative.
“We sowed the seeds with the first part of the campaign, which didn’t mention a fine,” she said.
“Now we have to step it up and say that there is a fine there.”
Cllr Betty Manning (FG) agreed.
“It has definitely gotten worse,” she said.
“I stood out on the Parade handing out pooper scoopers, and most people were happy to take them. But I think we need to get harsher. We need to do ‘Any Bag, Any Bin’.”
Street cleaning and litter bin collection alone cost the city almost E800,000 last year - well over half of the total E1.4 million litter-management spend for the entire county.
Illegal dumping on Kilkenny’s public roads has also increased, and Ms Moloney said that fly-tippers are canny about how the council finds evidence.
“People have become cute about how we catch them, and it is up to us to become cuter to keep up with them,” she said.
“Cameras, and our covert cameras, have becoming increasingly important in this.”
Cllr Marie Fitzpatrick (LAB) said that people were trying other ways to avoid paying bin charges.
“I have huge concern that people don’t have bins and they are leaving rubbish in their gardens, particularly in local authority houses,”
“Could we have someone to go around to these houses and inspect them?”
Ms Moloney said that the council had the authority to do so if the offenders were living in local authority housing. She said that people reporting in was key to tackling the issues.
The Kilkenny Litter Line is 1800-200-156, or email email@example.com.