2018 most successful year for PURE Project

For the last two years, 2017 and 2018, Pure has seen a reduction in the amount of illegal dumping in the Wicklow/Dublin Uplands with 2018 recording the lowest amount of illegal dumping collected in the uplands since the project started in 2007.

The project works with many organisations and stakeholders, including, Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Wicklow County Council, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, South Dublin County Council, Coillte, National Parks & Wildlife Service, and the Wicklow Uplands Council and was officially launched in September 2006.

Ian Davis, Manager of Pure commented,

‘I remember driving around the Wicklow/Dublin Uplands in 2007 and 2008 and being appalled at the amount of illegal dumping that I saw.  In 2008 Pure removed 436 tonnes of illegally dumped waste from the uplands, the largest amount of dumping we ever collected. Ten years later, in 2018, we removed 160 tonnes, which is a reduction of over 60%, the lowest amount we ever removed from the upland areas.  A huge amount of progress has been made since the project was established, however, there is absolutely no room for complacency, and it is vital that we continue to monitor the situation, or, we will see a return to the old days.’

January 2019 is proving to be a very busy time for Pure.  The post-Christmas period has seen a lot of dumping in the county with Pure receiving over 70 reports in first three weeks of January, with the truck removing over 13 tonnes of dumped mattresses, furniture, toys, bed frames and domestic waste, all from the Wicklow/Dublin Uplands.

The Pure Truck is on the road every day, and since the project was established, Pure has collected over 3,250 tonnes of rubbish from over 11,000 illegal dumping sites in the Wicklow/Dublin Uplands and have received 11,750 reports to the Pure office.  If you were to put all this rubbish into standard household rubbish bags, you would fill over 400,000 bags. If you lined up each of the bags that Pure has removed from the landscape, they would stretch all the way from Dublin to Dingle.

Ian Davis, Project Manager of Pure commented,

‘We have been recording and mapping every location and incident of illegal dumping in the Wicklow/Dublin Uplands since 2007 working hard to build up a base-line-data of all illegal dumping activities in the uplands, and we are delighted to see that we are noticing an annual reduction in dumping.’

Pure believe that by using a multi-disciplinary approach, incorporating a number of preventative measures, covert CCTV operations, media/PR campaigns, public awareness campaigns, community projects, such as the Pure Mile, and educational initiatives, the project has finally seen a marked reduction in illegal dumping in the Wicklow/Dublin Uplands.  The Pure Mile has been a tremendous success with over 220 areas involved in 2018 and over 1,000 volunteers helping to cleanup the uplands, with more groups getting involved in this years Pure Mile Project.

In both 2018 and 2017, Pure installed covert CCTV units at several upland sites which were continually affected by dumpers, and the footage obtained clearly identified people involved in both littering, and illegal dumping.

This footage resulted in a number of people receiving litter fines, and one case brought before the courts in December 2018, involving large scale illegal dumping, resulted in a criminal prosecution and large fine.  A number of other cases involving people caught on covert CCTV are currently under investigation by Wicklow County Council, and Pure are confident that the local authority will proceed with court prosecutions this year.

Ian Davis, Project Manager of Pure commented,

‘We will continue with our Covert CCTV Operations in 2019 and a number of locations that are continually affected by illegal dumping have already been selected for monitoring.  We will be collaborating with, Wicklow County Council, Coillte, and the National Parks and Wildlife Service, and we are determined to catch those involved in illegal dumping and further reduce this environmental scourge.’


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