County councils across the country have collectively forked out €5,522,073.84 to cover the cost of illegal dumping in the year to 9 November.

Figures obtained by the Irish Farmers Journal refer to the costs borne by county councils in cleaning up cases of illegal dumping and highlight particular issues for certain regions.

Dublin had the largest bill having to part with €1.2m, followed by Wicklow and Donegal paying €628,063 and €605,000, respectively.


Kildare County Council told the Irish Farmers Journal that 1,900 complaints of illegal dumping had been received in the county to date.

Full-year figures for 2019 show that €7,399,339.91 was spent on illegal dumping clean-ups by county councils.

Again, Dublin had to part with the most cash at €1.2m, followed by Limerick and Donegal paying €962,637 and €740,000, respectively.

Elusive collectors

“These fellas go out in their vans in the dead of night with mattresses and all the rubbish of the day,” Hugh Maguire, environmental officer with Wexford County Council, told the Irish Farmers Journal.

“They look for a quiet bog, cul de sac or farmer’s field to dump all into. We’ve spent €400,000 this year cleaning up after them. It’s one of the bad elements of society that we have to deal with.”

Maguire said that over 7,000 mattresses have been illegally dumped across the county in the past three years.


“We are clamping down on these cases, primarily through pursuing households who do not provide evidence that they have disposed of their waste through official channels. The man in a van is more difficult to prosecute.

“These fellas often give false names and addresses and can be quite elusive. They appear to be nice people going around collecting rubbish at a good rate but you can be assured they will go to the nearest quiet spot and damage the environment.”

Wexford County Council has urged the public to report waste collectors who appear suspicious and to only use reputable disposal services.