IFA and IFFPG Join Forces To Launch Rural Anti-Littering Campaign

Pictured at the launch of  IFA’s and the farm plastic recycling organisation IFFPG’s  national anti-litter initiative “The Countryside is Watching” are (l-r) IFFPG’s Chairman Michael Slattery and IFA Deputy President and Countryside Project Team spokesman Eddie Downey

Pictured at the launch of IFA’s and the farm plastic recycling organisation IFFPG’s national anti-litter initiative “The Countryside is Watching” are (l-r) IFFPG’s Chairman Michael Slattery and IFA Deputy President and Countryside Project Team spokesman Eddie Downey

The Irish Farmers Association and the farm plastic recycling organisation IFFPG have today launched a national anti-litter initiative amongst their combined membership of over 120,000 farmers and rural dwellers called, ‘The Countryside is Watching’.

IFA Deputy President and Countryside Project Team spokesman Eddie Downey said, “Farmers and people living in the countryside are tired of the increasing levels of food packaging, household rubbish and empty drink bottles strewn along roadside verges, gateways into fields and country roads on the outskirts of towns and villages.”

He added, “Farmers, rural dwellers, County Council staff, the EPA and the Department of the Environment all have an important role to play to address this scourge of fly-tipping and dumping by passing motorists and irresponsible individuals who treat the countryside as a disposal ground for their refuse.”

IFFPG’s Chairman Michael Slattery said, “IFFPG is delighted to be part of this campaign. Farmers have a proven track record when it comes to working with the environment. Last year a record 19,000 tonnes of farm plastic was recycled with IFFPG by farmers, exceeding all Government recycling targets for the sector. This campaign ‘The Countryside is Watching’ will only work, however, if each stakeholder carries out their responsibilities.”

Mr. Slattery said, “The Countryside is Watching” reminds users of the countryside to act responsibly and enjoy the countryside. They must take their rubbish home and discard of it correctly.”

The success of this campaign will be determined by the support received from the Department of the Environment and County Councils in the following areas:

1. National Rural Spring Clean Week

During this week, all County Council environmental enforcement officers should be available to collect and clear rubbish along roadside verges, once notified. Rural homes and farmers living on the worst affected roadways should be encouraged to assist, by providing free access to landfills and civil amenity sites for the week. Refuse companies must also be encouraged to participate proactively in this clean up.

2. Civic Amenity sites on the outskirts of Towns and Villages.

County Councils must establish a network of strategically located skips on the outskirts of all towns and villages, where people can safely dispose of rubbish rather than litter the countryside.

3. Communication and Education Campaign

County Council environmental enforcement officers must liaise directly with primary and secondary schools, convenience stores, filling stations and community groups to publically highlight the problem of rural littering and encourage people to take their litter home and dispose of it correctly.

This must be supported by a major national television, radio and print media campaign to highlight the issue and encourage the responsible disposal of litter.

4. Enforcement of anti-littering Laws

Each County Council must enforce the anti-littering laws effectively and encourage the general public to report offenders.

5. Dedicated Litter Reporting Line & Website

A national free-phone litter reporting line and website should be developed to allow people report incidents of littering. This free-phone number and website should replace the current 1890 number, which regularly remains unanswered, is not well advertised and action on reported dumping is often slow and ineffective. A customer charter must be agreed, where reports of littering will be acted on and the litter removed by the County Councils within 24 hours of notification.

The Department of Environment, EPA National Waste Prevention Committee and County Councils must commit adequate resource for this campaign, including the provision of signage to highlight the dedicated litter reporting line and website.

6. National Litter Action Taskforce

The Government must immediately establish a task force made up of representatives from key interest groups, including IFA and IFFPG to tackle this issue at national level and ensure delivery by County Councils.

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!

You must be logged in to post a comment.