New Litter Plan approved for county

Cavan’s new Litter Plan has been approved by councillors with ambitious plans to reduce waste and improve sustainability in the county.

The plan, which the local authority is legally required to have in place, aims to raise public awareness on issues surrounding littering, as well as enforcement and recycling.

Permanent CCTV is to be erected at recycling centres across the county in a bid to cut down on dumping at the sites, particularly at busy times when bins may fill quickly.

Also included are plans to increase the number of dog fouling bins and the provision of free poop scoop bags across the county, particularly at popular amenity areas and walking sites.

Dog fouling has long been highlighted as an issue across the county, particularly for wheelchair users and people with buggies.

Cian O’Callaghan from Cavan County Council told the November meeting of the local authority that free bags will continue to be provided.

Water stations in schools

He also said it’s hoped to increase the number of water refilling stations in schools across Cavan, as well as provide more reusable bottles to students. He cited the large number of plastic bottles collected on litter picks and said providing reusable ones would help to cut down on this type of waste.

Recent bulky waste collections were hailed as a success and more are planned to attract larger items such as mattresses and couches, which are often found dumped by roadsides.

Councillors unanimously backed the plan, with praise for the work both the council and voluntary groups, such as Tidy Towns, are doing across Cavan to tackle waste and dumping.

“We’ve all unfortunately had occasion to raise dumping occurrences,” said Cllr John Paul Feeley (FF). “The vast majority of people are complying [with rules] but a small number are destroying areas.”

Cllr Madeleine Argue (FG) highlighted Cavan Town’s poor showing in the recent Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) survey where it placed 26th out of 40.

“It’s extremely disappointing. There are just two areas that are letting the town down and it’s highlighted every year.”

Bailieborough Cllr Paddy McDonald (SF) suggested the council remove bins in some areas as they “attract litter”. He cited a case in the town where a bin was removed after a car crashed into it, describing it as a “litter blackspot” beforehand.

The careless dumping of waste at weekends was cited as a major problem in towns, particularly packaging from takeaways.

Cllrs Winston Bennett (FG) and TP O’Reilly (FG) called for more to be done to tackle the issue, with the latter calling for a person’s name or phone number to be printed on packaging to deter people from littering.

He said such a move “might be a deterrent” but could fall foul of GDPR regulations.

Cathaoirleach Clifford Kelly (FF) wrapped up discussion of the plan saying “only for the Tidy Towns we’d be in a much worse position”.