The Taoiseach has told the Dáil that "we have a long way to go on waste enforcement in Ireland".
Leo Varadkar was speaking during Leader's Questions following last night's RTÉ Investigates documentary on illegal dumping.
The Ireland's Wild Waste programme highlighted the lack of spending on waste disposal by some local authorities, as well as illegal dumping by private enterprises around the country.
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"What's happening in some parts of the country, perhaps in many parts of the country, is seriously harming our environment and potentially harming to human health, in fact certainly is harmful to human health," Mr Varadkar said.
The matter was raised by Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin, who called for a fact-finding mission to establish a full picture of the issue nationally.
He also rejected an assertion from the Taoiseach that waste enforcement had "come a long way in 20 years".
Mr Varadkar told Mr Martin that he hoped he would be speaking to Fianna Fáil councillors in Donegal.
Donegal is the poorest performing council in Ireland for its inspection rate of its facilities and for its investment in waste services.
Mr Martin said he was disappointed in this response which he described as "petty", telling Mr Varadkar that waste enforcement was an executive function.
Mr Martin said the issue "cries out for a more urgent response".
He also called on Ministers Eoghan Murphy and Denis Naughten to respond to detailed questions on the issue.
"I think a tipping point has been reached, excuse the pun," Mr Martin added.