New measures to clamp down on illegal dumping and irresponsible disposal of household waste are being introduced by local authorities.

The TV Licence-style inspection system is aimed at approximately 80,000 households who "operate outside the system".

Hugh Coughlan of the Eastern Midlands Region Waste Office says that out of 1.7m households around the country, it is not clear how around 5% of those get rid of their waste.

New by-laws to allow for these inspections have so far been adopted by 80% of local authorities, and it is expected that the remaining 20% will follow by the middle of the year.

The by-laws will allow for people to sign up to registered bin collection services, bring their waste to local civic amenity centres or to share bins with family or neighbours.

However, they will be now be required to provide proof of how they're disposing of their waste.

To identify the households "outside the system", Mr Coughlan said "it's envisaged you would use the Eircode method, that is one of the measures being considered. So you would obtain Eircodes from waste operators, and that in turn will help you to cross reference with other Eircodes and identify areas that need further investigation".

Those found to have unsatisfactory waste disposal methods would face a €75 fixed penalty notice, or fines of up to €2,500 upon conviction.

The move has been welcomed by environmental campaigners who say that nothing has worked before.


"It won't disadvantage those who are managing their waste wisely", says Mindy O'Brien, coordinator at environmental group Voice.

"You have to prove you have a TV licence, you have to prove you have a bin service or are responsibly managing the waste that you're creating," she said.

"Lots of people bring their waste to landfill or amenity centres, they also share bins, so relations may share one bin between two houses, so you just need to prove it and if you've nothing to hide it shouldn't be a big burden to you."

It is hoped that the new measures will encourage people to stop illegally dumping or burning their waste, and also to recycle more.

More information about disposing of household waste responsibly can be found at mywaste.ie