Halloween blitz as council to raid bonfire stockpiles
Dublin City Council is to conduct a series of raids on stockpiled bonfire material in the run-up to Halloween.
Groups who store pallets and tyres as well as waste from garden sheds are being warned that the council will be on the look-out for such stores to make Halloween safer.
The council removed 1,000 tyres and 800 tonnes of bonfire material last year.
Costs to the council associated with the clean-up before and after Halloween 2013 amounted to €650,000.
And the number of fire brigade calls last year was over 500 on Halloween night alone, mostly dealing with out-of -control illegal bonfires and fires that were set too close to buildings.
The authority says it wants to promote a safe celebration and will be hosting a series of family-friendly events, including licensed fireworks displays.
"Offering a safe environment for people to celebrate Halloween and stopping illegal bonfires has played a big part in reducing the damage Halloween has traditionally caused," said Hugh Coughlan of Dublin City Council's Waste Management Services.
He has asked people to report hidden stockpiles of bonfire material so they can be removed in advance.
"All bonfires are illegal and Dublin City Council is asking the public to report any stockpiled material," he said.
"As well as being a safety risk, they cause considerable damage to the environment as well."
The council will use #dubsafehalloween to promote safe events on social media and is encouraging the public to use the same hashtag when posting their own safe Halloween content.
The public has been urged to report stockpiled material in the following ways - through Dublin City Council's Litter Hotline on 1800 251 500 (Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm), the Environmental Protection Agency's 24 hour National Environmental Complaints Line at 1850 365 121 or on the council website dublincity.ie.