Limerick City and County Council has welcomed the conviction for illegal dumping of a man at Limerick District Court. Michael Stanners of Pineview Gardens, Moyross was found guilty of illegal dumping and motor vehicle offences following a court case on Friday 05 March 2021. He was fined €100 plus legal costs of €400 and disqualified from driving for one year.
Limerick District Court had heard that on 10 July 2019, Limerick City and County Council received a call to say that waste was being loaded on to a vehicle outside the OJ Computer premises on Upper Gerald Griffin Street, Limerick.
An environmental inspector visited the scene where he found two men loading, what the inspector classified as waste, into a vehicle.
The men indicated to the inspector that the waste was to be taken to the Greenstar facility on the Dock Road to be disposed of.
Photographs of the vehicle and its contents were taken.
The following day, Limerick City and County Council was contacted about an illegal dumping incident at the car park of Limerick Greyhound Stadium.
Upon investigation, the environmental inspector noted that the site contained some of the same material that was in the van at Upper Gerald Griffin Street the previous day.
The distinguishing feature of the waste was a red wheelie bin, a type which is very rare in Limerick and an OJ Computers sign, which was the name of the premises the individual was clearing out the previous day, when first approached by the environmental inspector.
The court heard it cost around €1,000 for the waste to be disposed of correctly, while the owners of the car park and adjacent lands have carried out work to the value of €70,000 to secure the properties and install CCTV as a result of incidents of illegal dumping.
Michael Stanners pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 32(1) of the Waste Management Act, 1996 and was convicted with Judge Alan Mitchell fining him €100 plus legal costs of €400. The judge also disqualified Michael Stanners from driving for one year as a vehicle had been used in the commission of the offence. It is understood to be the first time a Limerick court has taken such a measure with regards to a dumping incident.
Judge Mitchell wished to emphasise that he hoped this disqualification would send out a message to the public from the court. He stated that someone who drives out into the country to dump a few bin bags should note that the court may disqualify them from driving should they use a vehicle in the commission of an offence.
Following the conviction, a spokesperson for Limerick City and County Council said: “Illegal dumping is a scourge that needs to be stopped. It ruins our environment and diverts scarce resources from other areas and projects.”
“The Council is happy with the outcome of this case. It takes the issue of illegal dumping very seriously and this case proves that the Council will follow up on all incidences of illegal dumping and fine and prosecute where possible.”
“We want to encourage the responsible disposal of waste and it’s the Council’s policy to run behavioural change campaigns in addition to enforcement.”
The Planning and Environmental Services Department of Limerick City and County Council undertook a total of 918 waste inspections as a result of public complaints in 2020, 863 of which related to unauthorised dumping, flytipping, or the operation of unauthorised sites.