Will drones be used to combat illegal dumping?

Galway Daily news City Councillor calls for drones to combat illegal dumping

Surveillance drones could be used to combat illegal dumping at litter blackspots in Galway according to Galway TD Hildegarde Naughton.

The Galway TD said that a €3 million Anti-Dumping initiative announced this week supports the use of innovative measures such as drones to tackle fly-tipping.

“Nearly half of the funding will be used to target established dumping blackspots. Some 5,000 tonnes of illegal waste has been removed from these locations since 2017,” she explained.

Other measures such as cctv have long been used to monitor dumping blackspots, but while this can make a difference, it has limitations Hildegarde Naughton said, in that dumpers can simply avoid the area being monitored.

“Surveillance drones have no such limitations and can catch offenders at litter blackspots without them even knowing that they’ve been seen. The prospect of this is also an effective deterrent.”

The Climate Action Committee chairperson said that the initiative will put an emphasis on working with local authorities and communities in a collective effort, especially in rural and remote areas.

“The Anti-Dumping Initiative is intended to help communities to prevent illegal waste disposal and beautify their localities. It also aims to educate young people and increase awareness of the issue.”

This new initiative is on top of the annual enforcement grant of €7.4 million, which supports the recruitment and retention of 150 waste enforcement personnel nationally.

TThe funding will be made available under four categories: prevention, education and awareness, abatement, and enforcement.

Within these categories, deterrents are included like barriers, signage, beautification projects, bulky waste collection and awareness campaigns.

“A dumping database will also be developed, and innovative solutions such as the deployment of surveillance drones will also be supported under the fund,” added Deputy Naughton.