Fianna Fáil TD for Wexford James Browne is calling for powers to be given to Gardai to clamp down on illegal dumping in the county.

Deputy Browne says there has been a surge in complaints to his office from people extremely angry that rubbish is being dumped in lay-bys, hedges and roadsides.

“Illegal dumping and fly tipping has become a serious problem over the past couple of weeks and is something which needs to be tackled. Some people are shamefully taking advantage of the quiet roads during the COVID-19 crisis to illegally dump rubbish. While dumping is a major eyesore it also puts at risk the health of Wexford County Council environmental staff who have to clean up the rubbish”, he said.

“Wexford County Council is already working at reduced capacity as staff are providing community support services to vulnerable people and people isolating during the COVID-19 crisis.

“Waste collection and recycling services are continuing to operate as normal so I am at loss to understand why the level of illegal dumping has increased so dramatically in recent weeks. It’s completely unacceptable, is ruining our beautiful county and scenery and must be halted.

“I am calling on the government to give additional powers to the Gardaí to clamp down on those who are dumping their rubbish illegally. All enforcement options must be explored to ensure that this practice can be stopped and that perpetrators can be punished”.