Council Launches Crackdown On Illegal Disposal Of Waste During Halloween Period

From: Dunphy Public Relations
Published: Tue Oct 21 2008

The call comes from Clare County Council in advance of the Halloween period, which has in recent years been used by individuals to illegally dispose of waste material on bonfires.

The uncontrolled burning of waste in bonfires is illegal under the Air Pollution Act (1987) and The Waste Management Acts (1996-2008). Such activity also releases toxic pollutants, which are known to be damaging to public health and the environment.

In 2007, Clare Fire Services answered 27 bonfire-related calls on 31st October and 1st November with an associated cost of over EUR16,000. Substantial costs were also incurred in removing bonfire waste materials and cleaning up after bonfires had taken place.

Adrian Kelly, Chief Fire Officer of Clare County Fire and Rescue Services, commented, "Halloween is one the busiest times of the year for the fire services and responding to bonfire call outs creates a strain on existing resources. Bonfires are often built close to houses and other property presenting risks to personal safety and property. I would like people to be aware of the fire safety hazards that arise from illegal bonfires, where the burning of highly combustible materials may lead to serious injuries or death."

"Members of public are also advised not to buy, use or supply fireworks. Illegal fireworks may be manufactured without safety standards and can cause serious damage to users, particularly children. Parents should monitor their children and ensure they do not play with fireworks. Each year, children throughout the country end up tragically injured and often scarred for life, after using illegal fireworks", added Mr. Kelly.

He confirmed that Clare Local Authorities, in conjunction with waste enforcement staff, the Fire Service and An Garda Síochána, would closely monitor the situation around Clare in the period before and during Halloween.

According to Ger Dollard, Director of Services of the Environment and Emergency Services, Clare County Council, "Businesses and members of the public are requested to desist from supplying any waste material to parties who do not have a valid waste collection permit. Dealing with waste material on any other basis is an offence and can result in prosecution."

Mr. Dollard continued, "There are significant risks arising from such bonfires, including the illegal nature of the activity, the adverse effects on the local community and the negative effects on the general environment."

Tips for a Safe Halloween:
- If you see material such as pallets, tyres and old furniture being hoarded in advance of Halloween please contact the waste enforcement section of Clare County Council on 065 6846331
- Do not leave material lying around that may be taken for a bonfire; many garage or garden shed items such as petrol, white spirits, diesel, aerosols, batteries, tins of paint, bottles and tyres are especially dangerous if set on fire
- Parents, business and householders should not provide any materials for bonfires.
- Do not facilitate illegal bonfires or firework displays on or near your home or property
- Contact the Fire Brigade if you see a bonfire being lit close to buildings, trees, overhead cables, underground services or car parking areas.

Under the Waste Management (Collection Permit) Regulations, 2007-2008, all persons engaged in waste collection must hold a valid waste collection permit.

Any person wishing to confirm the legitimacy of a waste collector should ask the collector for their waste collection permit number and proceed to check it online at or, alternatively, contact Clare County Council’s waste enforcement section on 065 6846331.


Note to Editor:
- Mr. Ger Dollard, Director of Services, Environment and Emergency Services Directorate, Clare County Council; and Denis O'Connell, Senior Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Clare County Fire and Rescue Services, are available for interview. To arrange please contact Mark Dunphy of Dunphy Public Relations at 086-8534900 or

Mark Dunphy
Dunphy Public Relations
Company: Dunphy Public Relations
Contact Name: Dunphy Public Relations
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Contact Phone: 00353868534900

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