A ONLINE educational programme on littering and dog fouling is to be considered by the Cork County Council environmental department, following calls from councillors to address the issue.
Head of Environment Louis Duffy, said online programmes were very popular with schools presently, and he would get the environmental awareness team to see if they can pull one together on the consequences of littering and dog fouling.
The new programme hopes to tackle what councillors say is a growing problem — dog faeces and litter being abandoned at scenic sites and around urban areas.
Fianna Fáil Councillor Seamus McGrath highlighted the fact that litter wardens work Monday to Friday, whereas people congregate at public amenity facilities on weekends. This is resulting in high volumes of rubbish that is left there until Monday.
“This is a problem all year round but particularly during the good weather,” he said. “It really isn’t good enough that our beaches and so on are thronged at good weather weekends and there will be huge issues in relation to littering and we have to have a response to that and enforcement has to be part of that response.”
Mr McGrath said that he hoped the department restructuring would incorporate a more flexile schedule for litter wardens and harder punishments for litter bugs.
Green Party Councillor Liam Quaide agreed that more enforcement was needed.
“I don’t think we are going to get the kind of culture change we need in terms of littering until there is serious consequences for that practices.”
Discussing dog fouling, County Mayor Mary Linehan Foley said she has seen an increase in her area and asked if an educational programme could be rolled out to schools to highlight the dangers associated with these behaviours.
In response Mr Duffy said that the council was restructuring the way it assigns and allocates its resources in this field.
“The county dog warden and the chief veterinary officer will be working with me over the next number of weeks to decide on an approach as to how we will assign and allocate the dog wardens across the county, “ he said.
The Head of Environment also said schools were interested in online programmes so they would look at developing something for school going kids, dealing with both litter and dog fouling.