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Pure Project Secures Funding to Combat Illegal Dumping

The Department of Environment, Climate and Communications, have announced that it is providing a funding extension to the environmental project, Pure (Protecting Uplands and Rural Environments), until the end of 2023.

In announcing the funding, Ossian Smyth, Minister of State with responsibility for Communications and Circular Economy, commented;

‘I am very pleased to confirm Departmental funding for the Pure Project for a further three-year period.  The positive impacts of the Pure Project are self-evident across the Wicklow/Dublin uplands. The statistics also show the benefits of this coordinated response to illegal dumping, via enforcement, deterrence and, most importantly, in the invaluable community projects and activities facilitated by the Project.  Aside from the annual €115,000 contribution which my Department will make towards programme costs, we will also work with the Project team to provide sustainable funding for the Pure truck. I wish the Pure Project continued success with their excellent work.  This year, my Department has announced a range of national initiatives and supports aimed at combatting illegal dumping and littering. This includes our new € 5 million fund for litter infrastructure. Via the Circular Economy Bill, to be published later this year, we will also look to underpin the use of CCTV and consider the range of fines applicable to dumping and littering activities via the Circular Economy Bill later this year.’

Pure is the first project of its kind in Ireland incorporating statutory and non-statutory organisations and stakeholders, including, The Department of Environment, Climate, and Communications, Wicklow County Council, South Dublin County Council, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, Coillte, National Parks & Wildlife Service, and the Wicklow Uplands Council.  This unique partnership project was established to combat illegal dumping in the Wicklow/Dublin Uplands and was officially launched in September 2006.

Ian Davis, Manager of Pure, commented on the recent announcement; ‘On behalf of the stakeholders of Pure I would like to thank the Minister and the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications, for their continued support.  The success of Pure is based on multi-stakeholder collaboration and cooperation between all of the organisations involved in the project.  This funding will enable the project to continue with our initiatives to combat illegal dumping in Wicklow/Dublin Uplands, further increase environmental awareness, and engage with the thousands of Pure Mile Volunteers who are dedicated to cleaning up the Wicklow/Dublin Uplands.’

Pure utilises a multi-disciplined approach in combating illegal dumping, incorporating a number of educational initiatives, environment/community projects – The Pure Mile, public awareness campaigns, regional/national media campaigns, enforcement and preventative measures, GPS/GIS data-base to record all illegal dumping sites, covert CCTV operations, and a dedicated vehicle, The Pure Truck, which removes illegal dumping from the Wicklow/Dublin Uplands.

The Pure Truck is on the road every day, and since the project was established, Pure has collected over 3,650,000kg (3,650 tonnes) of rubbish from over 13,000 illegal dumping sites in the Wicklow/Dublin Uplands with the project processing over 14,000 reports.  If you were to put all the rubbish that Pure has removed from the uplands into standard household rubbish bags, they would fill over 400,000 bags.   If you lined up all these bags on the road, they would stretch all the way from Dublin to Dingle.  This recent announcement of funding enables Pure to purchase a new truck, as the current vehicle is fifteen years old.  

Pure Project is a multi-stakeholder collaborative approach which has proven extremely successful in combating illegal dumping in the Wicklow/Dublin Uplands and over the past four years, Pure has recorded an annual reduction in illegal dumping activity in the Wicklow/Dublin Uplands.  This reduction in dumping coincides with the huge increase of Pure Mile groups and areas, with hundreds of miles of roads, mountains, woodlands, valleys, forestries, upland amenities, car parks, and beaches, currently being adopted. 

The PureMile Project, an initiative established by Pure in 2009, is an environment, community, heritage initiative, that encourages communities and groups living in rural areas of Wicklow, South Dublin, and Dun-Laoghaire, to adopt a mile of road, or miles of road, in their local area, or in the Wicklow/Dublin Uplands and organise litter picks, clean-ups, anti-dumping campaigns, research information about their local wildflowers, plants, trees, animals, and the built, cultural, and social heritage of an area.  There are currently thousands of PureMile volunteers, ranging from individuals, family groups, community groups, walking groups, cycling groups, scouts, beavers, businesses, and organisations, who have removed hundreds of tonnes of illegally dumped waste and thousands of bags of litter and rubbish from the Wicklow/Dublin Uplands. 

A recent successful court conviction of an illegal dumper caught on covert CCTV in county Wicklow was a joint collaboration involving Pure, Wicklow County Council, Coillte, and the Gardai, demonstrating the success of the multi-stakeholder approach in tackling illegal dumping in the Wicklow/Dublin Uplands.  The individual was fined €4,000 and costs of €550 with a two-year driving disqualification.  All of the local authorities involved in Pure are continually investigating illegal dumping incidents and the recent conviction sends out a clear message to all dumpers, illegal dumping will not be tolerated in the Wicklow/Dublin Uplands.

TO REPORT DUMPERS AND DUMPING lo–call 1850 365 121

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