In a time when our economy is fairly broke and grasping at straws the last thing we need is a bill for illegal dumping totally €36 million – however it serves us right.
Between 2002 and 2004 some 250,000 tonnes of Irish domestic and commercial waste is believed to have been illegally dumped at 20 identified sites in Northern Ireland. To avoid large fines from the European commission, Environment Ministers from both sides of the border have agreed to “repatriate” the waste over a 5-year period to the Republic. More than 70 prosecutions involving the illegal dumping of waste from the South have already been taken by the Northern Ireland authorities, 4 landowners have received prison sentences for allowing Irish waste to be dumped on their lands and fines totaling about £800,000 (€965,000) have also been imposed.
While we are now taking responsibility, how did we allow the illegal dumping happen in the first place?