[Sinn Fein]

6 December 2001

Recent revelations on illegal dumping a national scandal

Sinn Fein Dublin City and County Councillors have called on the Minister for the Environment to end the practice of forcing local councils to outsource their waste disposal to private operators. The call was made in response to the recent illegal dumping of waste by private waste disposal companies in both Wicklow and Dublin.

South Dublin County Councillor, Seán Crowe, has described the recent revelations as ``a national scandal''.

Cllr. Crowe said: ``The outsourcing of waste disposal by local councils to private, profit-motivated companies has led to this appalling situation. It is a national scandal that hundreds of these dumps are now literally being unearthed. It is obvious that many people have being turning a blind eye to this practice for years.

``Waste disposal is an important and vital service that should be provided and strictly regulated by local authorities. It should not be left to individuals or companies whose sole concern is profit. The regulations in place at the moment are obviously inadequate and unworkable. The fines for illegal dumping are so small they are not a deterrent to those who make enormous sums of money from this dumping.

``This scandal yet again highlights the failure of the government to deal properly with the issue of waste management and the environment. Privatising waste collection just as placing incinerators in the frontline of waste management relies on the production of waste in the first place for it to be commerically viable.

``It is time the government faced up to it's failure on this issue and ensured that waste collection and management are strictly regulated and provided by local authorities. In tandem with this there needs to be national and local government policy which encourages the principles of reduction, recycling and reuse in relation to waste management.'' ENDS

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