The most common items illegally dumped in Coillte forests during the COVID-19 pandemic include washing machines, fridges/freezers, household waste, tyres, beds and sofas.

Coillte’s national estates manager Mick Power said illegal dumping and fly-tipping remain a serious issue for the nation’s forests.

“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,” according to Power.

This material is often discarded at forest entrances or along the forest boundaries, which makes it unsightly and unsanitary for visitors.

Illegal dumping causes serious environmental problems, including damage to habitats and biodiversity, and it can pollute soils, rivers and drinking water.


Coillte has said it takes the issue of illegal dumping extremely seriously and works closely with the gardaí and local council authorities to ensure offenders are prosecuted.

In known blackspot areas, Coillte said it has increased its surveillance by deploying remote cameras to monitor illegal dumping activity and to help seek prosecutions.

Coillte encourages the public to report all instances of illegal dumping to the relevant local authorities immediately or contact Coillte directly via its confidential forest security hotline on 1890 800 455.