Fridges, beds and sofas…Coillte reveals extent of ‘lockdown’ illegal dumping

Coillte, the State-owned agency which manages approximately 7% of the country’s land, has this week revealed the extent of illegal dumping in its forests during Covid-19 ‘lockdowns’.

Household appliances such as washing machines, fridge/freezers, as well as items like tyres, beds and sofas are amongst the most common items dumped illegally on Coillte lands.

“Illegal dumping and fly tipping remain a serious issue for the nation’s forests,” said Mick Power, Coillte’s National Estates Manager.

“The vast majority of visitors are respectful and bring all their litter home, which Coillte and staff on the ground appreciate enormously.

  “There is a small number of people who make the public roads and entrances to our forests unsightly, some of the rubbish is foul smelling, attracts vermin and is a health and safety hazard for families, their children and their dogs,” he added.

Coillte says it has spent almost €2 million to remove illegally dumped waste from its forests over the past five years.

Illegal dumping causes serious environmental problems including damage to habitats and biodiversity, and the pollution of soils, rivers, and even drinking water.

Coillte says it takes the issue of illegal dumping extremely seriously and works closely with the Gardaí and the local authorities to ensure offenders are prosecuted. In known blackspot areas, Coillte has increased its surveillance by deploying remote cameras to monitor illegal dumping activity and to help seek prosecutions.

The forestry body also encourages the public to report instances of illegal dumping to the relevant local authorities or to contact Coillte directly via its confidential forest security hotline on 1890-800455.