Almost 25,000 householders in county Limerick are in for a shock in the new year when they will be forced to sign up to a licensed refuse service.
It was revealed this week that less then half the households in County Limerick use a waste collection service.
And the domestic waste produced by those households not using a service is the equivalent of 3.2 million black bags or 16,000 tonnes a year.
But new bye-laws, due to come into force in the New Year, will oblige all householders within 200 metres of a collection service to “sign-up” – or face an on-the-spot fine of €60 or, if prosecuted in court, a fine of up to €1,905.
“Other local authorities who have introduced bye-laws have found you get more people signing up and that is the crucial factor,” Gerry Behan, director of services, told councillors on Monday when they adopted the new bye-laws.
“As councillors are aware, the incident of illegal dumping has reached very serious proportions,” Mr Behan said in a written report to councillors and co-signed by Cllr Mary Jackman, chair of the council’s environment strategic policy committee. Out of a total of 48,852 households in Co Limerick, only 23,464 or 48% avail of a refuse collection service.
“This is despite the fact that the majority of households are on a serviced collection route and it would appear that they simply choose not to avail of the service,” added Mr Behan.
*A full version of this story was published in the print edition of Limerick Leader, dated October 29, 2011