Kildare County Council spends €2m a year trying to keep streets litter free


Paul O'Meara


Paul O'Meara


Kildare County Council spends €2m a year trying to keep streets litter free

Celbridge has half the amount of litter bins than Leixlip

Leixlip has “twice as many” litter bins as Celbridge — even though its population is smaller, the February monthly meeting of Kildare County Council was told.

Cllr Ide Cussen claimed this was because Leixlip had a town council previously. The councillor and her colleagues made a number of contributions about how litter management methods (Kildare County Council spends €2m annually on street cleaning alone) should change.

There were calls for more community wardens to combat the proliferation of litter, especially dog faeces as well as overflowing litter bins.

Cllr Peter Hamilton noted that there has been a rise in dog ownership levels since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and this added to the problem.

“We need to approach this with solutions, rather than hoping it will go away,” he said, adding that more money needs to be spent on litter management because the population of county Kildare continues to grow.

Cllr Bill Clear said resources need to be better managed by Kildare County Council.

He said some bins must be replaced in Naas because they are damaged beyond repair.

Cllr Peggy O’Dwyer highlighted the lack of CCTV cover and acknowledged that the use of CCTV can have crafted legal difficulties because of privacy regulations.

The Newbridge councillor said “every weekend we pick up litter and this has increased because of the pandemic.”

Councillors said that there are only two dog wardens serving County Kildare and some careless dog owners know that they can get away with their pets using public areas as a toilet.

Cllr Fiona McLoughlin Healy said that an education strategy is needed. She said that while bins are overflowing, people should be encouraged to bring litter home.

Cllr Michael Coleman complained that people are dumping household refuse in public bins.

He cited an example of two bins in Celbridge being filled to overflowing daily in Celbridge for this reason.

He called for an increase in fines as well as making efforts to identify those who do not pay for a bin collection service.

Anne Connolly and Kevin Duffy argued for a media campaign and for efforts to identify what causes people to dump rubbish.

Cllr Suzanne Doyle said that people must be convinced that it is the wrong thing to do.

She said drink driving was acceptable 30 years ago, adding that it’s not anymore.

She said the council is faced with an “avalanche of work” to tackle the problem but it will only be resolved through public cooperation.

The meeting heard from KCC official Ken Kavanagh that some prosecutions are hampered because those who make a complaint are unwilling to be identified.

Mr Kavanagh also pointed out, the council has six community wardens though their work is not confined to litter management.