A new initiative to tackle illegal dumping will involve hidden CCTV cameras in litter black spots, as well as the use of drones to capture the extent of the issue.

As part of the plan, funding totalling €650,000 is being offered to communities around the country, to support their efforts to counter the problem.

High risk or problem areas will be identified, with coordinated clean ups to be followed by enhanced enforcement measures.

Funding will be given to assist local groups who work with local authorities to prevent and discourage the practice of illegal dumping.

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughten said communities are being deprived of amenities, services and infrastructural improvements due to the costs faced by councils in dealing with dumping.

Announcing details of the initiative in Ballinasloe, Co Galway this afternoon, Mr Naughten said enhanced enforcement techniques were now needed to redress the balance and apply the polluter pays principle.

He is backing plans to allow local authorities to use overt and covert surveillance equipment, drones and other technology to increase detection levels and deter people from disposing of waste illegally.

Minister Naughten also called on households to examine their consumption patterns to reduce the volume of waste they produce.

He said simple measures, like choosing reusable cups and bottles, could make a significant difference in this regard.

Mr Naughten encouraged people to report dumping by using an Environmental Protection Agency app. The EPA's 'See it, Say it' app sends GPS coordinates of dump sites to local authorities.