File image: Local councillor Niamh Kennedy has asked if litter issue is getting worse rather than better
A Donegal county councillor who joined others on a number of clean ups in her local area fears that the more voluntary clean ups people do, the more other people litter.
Cllr Niamh Kennedy, speaking at Tuesday's Municipal District meeting in Donegal Town, shared her frustration with members when she revealed that she now wonders if the "more we clean up beaches, the more people dump".
She asked if the litter problem was getting worse rather than better, despite the massive efforts by volunteer groups across the county.
She added that coming into today's meeting in Drumlonagher she noted that the bottle bank area near the council offices was another example of people littering rather than keeping things tidy. She described it as "a mess". She said this was an ongoing issue in many centres.
"I really question what we are doing sometimes, is it the more we clean up on beaches, the more people dump, is it getting worse or are we managing it correctly? It isn't kids doing this, it is adults. How do we police the littering, how do we do it better," she asked, adding: "It is really tough on those making such a huge effort, it seems to be thrown back in their faces.You see the mess that is outside here today and at other bottle banks."
Chairman, Cllr Tom Conaghan added: "I see people going to certain places in this town with a plastic bag and see them coming back and the bag is empty - what does that tell you. I also see people using public bins for getting rid of their waste and it leaves no room for others who have litter they want to put into these bins.
"A lot of public bin space is being taken up by people who are not going to pay for sending their rubbish to the dump. They are not going to pay.”
Fiona Kelly, Donegal County Council Environmental section, agreed there was an issue with plastic in particular: “I see the proliferation of plastic waste which doesn’t go away unless collected and properly disposed off - plastic is a big part of the problem."