By Jimmy Rhatigan
A €62,500 war chest has been given to our city and county to up the ante in the war against illegal dumping and dog fouling.
Money from Government will enable city and county warriors doing battle to protect our environment, to boost their artillery with state of the art technology, including drones.
An allocation of €39,569 from Government will pay for the extra firepower for local authorities and allies who have been fighting indiscriminate dumping for years.
The cash will be splashed on drones, surveillance at sites, river clean-ups and a mattress amnesty to tackle illegal dumping, Junior Minister John Paul Phelan has told The Reporter.
A further €23,000 is to be invested in a crack down on litter, dog fouling and graffiti, bringing local investment to over €62,500.
Specific Kilkenny initiatives include investment in measures at the Rivers Barrow and Duiske, a clean-up of the Nore and of Inistioge, Woodstock.
“The idea is to develop an integrated and effective combined approach with local authorities, communities and other state agencies,” Junior Minister John Paul Phelan told The Reporter.
“Under the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, the Anti-Dumping Initiative funding will empower our people to take action against those who commit criminal acts against their communities through irresponsible dumping of waste, spoiling our natural environment.
“A wide range of clean-up and restorative projects led by community, environmental and sporting groups have been approved for funding in Kilkenny.
“I’m delighted that a mattress amnesty is among the measures to be funded. Anyone with farm land knows just how often mattresses and other items are dumped inside gates, causing major problems for landowners.”
“Local authorities will use the graffiti and dog fouling programme to raise awareness and encourage behavioral change to help tackle graffiti and littering of all types, including gum, cigarette butts and dog fouling.
“Dog fouling is perhaps the most intrusive type of litter. a constant source of annoyance on our streets, in our parks and along walks and Trails developed across Kilkenny, posing public health risks, particularly for children.
“Each local authority is responsible for selecting the suitable awareness projects that receive funding.
“Littering is environmental sabotage but money alone cannot solve our litter problems. It takes a behavioural change across the board and I am confident the awareness campaigns that will be funded through this scheme at a community level Kilkenny will have a real impact,” John Paul concluded.