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'PPE part of rise in city rubbish', warns anti-litter group

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Litter is growing in Dublin. Photo: Damien Eagers / INM

Litter is growing in Dublin. Photo: Damien Eagers / INM

Litter is growing in Dublin. Photo: Damien Eagers / INM

Dublin City Council has noted an increase in litter throughout the city with an anti-littering group stating personal protective equipment (PPE) has been a contributing factor.

The council has urged the public to be more mindful of where they put their rubbish.

However, Irish Businesses Against Litter (IBAL) has warned littering would be significantly reduced if more bin collections were put in place on Dublin's streets, which only allow for bagged rubbish.

"We have hundreds of streets in Dublin that are exempted from an EU regulation that says weekly collection has to be through bins," said IBAL spokesman Conor Horgan.

Collectors

"Sometimes there's good reason for that because the streets may be too narrow to accommodate bins.

"We could see a pretty immediate level of improvement in the levels of dumping in our city if we forced households to use bins, because it signs them up to a collection.

"With bags, there's a lot of counterfeit collectors going round.

"If there was one single measure the council could take to improve the situation, it could be to lessen the number of streets where the collection is through bags."

The council has noted an increase in littering in recent days, but it claims rubbish collection and street cleaning is continuing as normal.

"Dublin City Council is calling on the public to continue to dispose of litter responsibly using public litter bins or taking litter home if bins are not available," it said in a statement.

"[The council] has continued to provide daily waste management services, including the regular servicing of public litter bins during the current period.

"While we continue to work towards resuming full service delivery we are asking for the cooperation of the public in helping to keep Dublin clean."

Mr Horgan added that PPE has become a part of the rubbish being illegally discarded.

"PPE items like gloves are becoming a genuine source of litter," he said.

"There's very little cause for that. There's sufficient bins around retailers to dispose of those properly."

Mr Horgan said it is not fair to depend on volunteer clean-up groups like Tidy Towns to clean up discarded PPE.

"Those groups, for good reason, aren't in action at the moment but even if we depend on individual volunteers, naturally they would think twice about picking up gloves or masks," he said.

Infected

"Discarded PPE may be infected.

"I believe the virus can live for a period on these types of materials, the main point is that people will naturally be wary and you're not going to take a chance.

"It's not fair to ask people to perform their civic duty in picking up someone's litter when it's possibly contaminated, that's a step too far."

The group called for "personal responsibility".

"This is a time where we all have to play our part and that includes disposing of our waste properly," Mr Horgan said.

"We're in a time where we're appealing to people's senses of personal responsibility".