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Litter Management Plan

Irish Version of Site
         Draft Litter Management Plan

         2011 – 2015

Athenry Tidy Town's Group

April 2011

Background to Litter Management Plan

We have identified “To protect the natural heritage and ecosystems and to achieve a clean, healthy & sustainable environment.” as a core theme in our Litter Management Plan.

One of the principal activities in achieving this service objective is the implementation of litter control measures. Litter consists of any substance, material or item deposited in, or disposed of in, or within sight of a public place in such a manner as to be detrimental to the amenity of the natural or built environment. The amount of litter that defaces our footpaths, streets, parks and poles is one of the major environmental issues facing the town.

This Litter Management Plan sets out objectives for the prevention and eradication of litter throughout Athenry. The Litter Management Plan recognises that the problem of litter will not be eradicated unless a multi-dimensional approach is taken and every sector must be involved in tackling the litter problem: the public as well as the commercial sector and the local authority.

While there is a growing awareness of the importance to keep Athenry litter free, there is still a need to change attitudes and behaviour to recognise that littering is antisocial. Such a change can be achieved by the heightening of awareness of littering, its causes and its consequences.

This Litter Management Plan, for the prevention and control of litter sets out to achieve this in a coherent and comprehensive manner. It sets out realisable and measurable objectives for the following:

  • Prevention and control of litter.

  • Public awareness, participation and education.

  • Enforcement.

The Litter Management Plan seeks to achieve

  • Improved litter awareness
  • Reduction of Litter Pollution
  • Address the main causes of litter in the town

The main causative factors of litter pollution in Athenry are

  • Pedestrians

  • Passing motorists

  • Gathering points

  • Retail outlets

  • Dogs

  • Illegal dumping

  • Posters and signs

  • Windscreen advertisement notes

This Litter Management Plan will act as a medium-term strategy document, based on which, an annual Litter Management Action Plan will be formulated to identify priorities and specific actions to be carried out in each year. The Action Plan will be reviewed at year end and performance will be evaluated against the targets set out therein.

As part of a consultative process to bring this from a draft plan to a working plan, Athenry Tidy Towns group will seek public participation with the following:

  • Voluntary groups and organisations

  • Chamber of Commerce

  • Galway County Council Staff

  • Members of Galway County Council

  • A copy of the Litter Management Plan will be made available for inspection on website and in the library.

The problem areas identified for action in this plan are:

  • Lack of awareness.

  • Illegal/Indiscriminate Dumping

  • Litter from Retail and Fast Food Outlets

  • Litter from Major Events held in the town.

  • Flyposting & Distributing of Advertising Material


  • Ongoing Education and Awareness campaigns promoted by the County Council’s Environmental Awareness Officers and Tidy Towns Group.
  • Promotion of environment competitions, aimed at establishing best practice on litter management.
  • Participation in Galway County Councils Waste Prevention Programme
  • Anti-litter advertising.
  • Increased use of internet to promote awareness.
  • Better communication and interaction with the Community Warden, who can play an invaluable role in litter control, and, in particular, contribute towards increased enforcement.
  • Reinstatement of the Bring Banks.
  • Increase awareness of the Recycling Centres which are open in Tuam and Ballinasloe.
  • Encourage all private sector services for household collection to provide brown bins.
  • Major Events – Co-ordination meetings between Community Wardens, Gardai, and organisers to be held in advance of major events held in the town.

Objectives of Litter Management Plan

Partnership Approach

Athenry Tidy Towns group is committed to working in partnership with local voluntary and community groups, businesses, schools, residents associations, Gardaí, Galway County Council and the citizens of Athenry in order to obtain a litter free environment.

Summary of Main objectives

  • To continue to work in partnership with residents associations, estate management groups, the business and voluntary sectors, and Galway County Council to play their part in litter prevention.

  • To continue to heighten awareness of public responsibilities towards litter/littering.

  • To avoid the creation of litter through Athenry Tidy Town's own activities.

  • To further develop a comprehensive education awareness programme with particular emphasis on schools, focusing on litter prevention measures and waste reduction.

  • To carry out effective mobile patrols aimed at identifying areas with litter problems and deterring further littering.

  • To promote better approaches to street cleaning and collection of litter

Strategies & Actions to achieve the Objectives

To continue to work in partnership with residents associations, estate management groups, the business and voluntary sectors, to play their part in litter prevention.

Athenry Tidy Towns group will:

  • continue to work with the various groups and encourage the development of local litter action plans for blackspot areas.

  • actively encourage participation of residents associations, estate management groups and other voluntary groups in litter awareness programmes.

  • examine the introduction of new schemes such as a “Tidy Estate Competition” and “Adopt a Mile” scheme to further promote community involvement and partnership.

  • work with schools to heighten awareness of the problems caused by the careless disposal of lunch wrappings/boxes/plastic bottles

  • ensure that operators of take-away outlets and deli-shops take responsibility for the correct recovery/disposal of packaging sold by them in the vicinity of their premises

  • Increase awareness of the laws regarding litter (see Appendix 1)

To continue to heighten awareness of public responsibilities towards litter/littering Athenry Tidy Towns will:

  • use all available media to heighten awareness towards litter/littering

  • provide litter awareness literature in different languages to include and embrace our multicultural society

  • continue to remind the public to use only permitted waste collectors to collect waste

  • provide litter awareness signs at litter black spot areas in the town.

To further develop a comprehensive education awareness programme with particular emphasis on schools, focusing on litter prevention measures and waste reduction.

Athenry Tidy Towns will:

  • continue to promote the Green Schools programme among local schools.

  • continue to promote litter prevention/awareness through the involvement of schools in ongoing competitions

  • promote litter prevention and waste reduction in schools through a series of environment initiatives

To carry out effective mobile patrols aimed at identifying areas with litter problems and deterring further littering

Athenry Tidy Towns group will:

  • try to ensure Community Warden maintains a visible presence in the town to deter littering

  • ensure that litter black-spots are identified and eradicated

To promote better approaches to street cleaning and collection of litter Athenry Tidy Towns group will:

  • Request owners of premises to ensure that areas outside their premises are kept free of litter.

  • Support and encourage local community groups in organising clean ups in local areas.

  • Encourage and support local associations and committees in establishing a civic spirit towards cleanliness of their local areas.

  • Maximise the effectiveness of County Council street cleaning operations.

To prepare and implement an Annual Litter Action Plan, which will prioritise key actions to be undertaken during each year Athenry Tidy Towns will:

  • Prepare, based on the Litter Management Plan, a list of specific anti-litter actions to be undertaken during that year.

  • Review progress and performance on these actions at year end.


In conclusion, Athenry Tidy Towns gratefully acknowledges the voluntary efforts of communities in challenging littering. The group furthermore recognises that a partnership approach involving commitment and co-operation from all sectors is necessary to eradicate the litter problem.

Athenry Tidy Towns will invest in the voluntary efforts of the many concerned residents and groups in the town, by supporting their anti-litter activities, and will endeavour, in so far as is possible, to provide the assistance necessary to eradicate litter in the town.

Appendix 1

Laws and Obligations

The following is a summary of the law regarding litter but is not a legal interpretation. Reference should be made to the Litter Act 1997 for detailed provisions.

Public Places

If you are the owner or the person responsible for a place to which the public has access you are obliged to keep the place litter free, regardless of how the litter got there. This applies to any public place which may include the precincts of a shopping centre, a school campus, a public park, a train or bus station.

Private Property

The owner or occupier of property which can be seen from a public place is obliged to keep it free of litter. Basically, any outdoor area on your property that is visible from a public place must be kept free of litter. Where litter has accumulated on property for whatever reason and the litter is visible from a public place, the County Council can issue a notice to the owner or occupier requiring the prompt removal of the litter.

Illegal Dumping

Where the County Council finds material that is illegally dumped and establishes the identity of the owner of the material, that person will have a case to answer without necessarily having to be caught in the act. The Council may also require a householder or business operator to indicate how and where they are disposing of their waste, particularly if the householder or business owner is not availing of a refuse collection service or bringing their waste to an authorised waste disposal facility. If you see someone dumping illegally, report the matter to the Council, who will investigate and take any necessary enforcement action.

Major Events

The promoters or organisers of major events are required to ensure that they have litter control measures in place at the venue and in the surrounding vicinity before, during and after the event. This applies to football matches and other social and sporting events at which large crowds attend.

Mobile Food Outlets

Operators of mobile food outlets selling fast food or beverages, or other outlets such as those selling farm produce are obliged to provide suitable litter bins in the vicinity of their outlets. Also, they must clean-up any litter arising from the operation of their outlets within a radius of 100 metres from their outlet.

Dog Fouling

Dog owners must remove their pets' waste from public places and dispose of it in a proper manner.

This obligation applies to the following places:

  • public roads and footpaths
  • areas around shopping centre
  • school/sports grounds

Posters and Signs

The law forbids the putting up of posters/signs on poles or on other structures in public places

unless you have the written permission of the owner of the pole or other structure in advance of

putting up the posters/signs.

Furthermore, a person shall not erect, construct, place or maintain—

(a) a vending machine,

(b) a town or landscape map for indicating directions or places,

(c) a hoarding, fence or scaffold,

(d) an advertisement structure,

(e) a cable, wire or pipeline,

(f) a telephone kiosk or pedestal, or

(g) any other appliance, apparatus or structure, which may be prescribed as requiring a licence under this section, on, under, over or along a public road save in accordance with a licence granted by a planning authority.

Advertising Flyers

The placing of advertising leaflets on car windscreens is prohibited under Section 19 of the Litter Pollution Act 1997.