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 Tidylongford.com is part of Longford chamber of commerce's efforts to help sort out Longford's litter problems.

At chamber meetings the issue of litter on our streets has been a constant source of frustration. In addition to lobbying the town council, criticism spurned us into doing something practical ourselves.

We started a weekly litter collection which commenced Saturday 26th October @ 3pm at Connolly barracks. In addition Geraldine Swarbrigg and Matt O'Brien Organize a Sunday Clean up meeting at Connolly Barracks at 12pm every week for those who can't make the Saturday clean up.

We have had a great turn-out so far with members from the Chamber, Tidy Towns committee, Longford town Council, County Action Group, and members of the public turning out to pick up litter from the town streets and various areas around the town.

The Town Council have supplied us with Gloves, refuse sacks and arranged for the pick-up of the full bags afterwards. Local publicans have provided hot drinks and refreshments for after the collection.

What has become immediately apparent is the size of the challenge we are facing to get a litter free status. Cigarette butts and Chewing Gum are huge problems and it is not often apparent to offenders that they are doing any wrong. Creating litter awareness is one of our priorities, everyone carries the responsibility to lead by example and educate offenders. We have managed to clear some major black spots (for a brief time at least).

Other people have initiated their own clean ups on a regular basis, notably on the By-Pass where the weekly clean-ups have made a marked improvement.

We are looking for volunteers to help with the ongoing collection. If you are able to help we would ask you to contact one of the chamber committee members or Just Turn up at 3pm on Saturday or 12pm Sunday at Connolly barracks.

Geraldine Swarbrigg: 043-45116
Matt O'Brien: 043-45829
Jonathan Quinn: 087 2393251
Fran Mc Nulty: 087-2346398
Michael Keenan: 086-8205131

Outside Your Business Premises:

IT IS THE LAW !

We would like to point out to our members and other business's in the town the litter bye-laws. The need to keep your shop front clean is the most important aspect of the byelaws for business people in the town. If there is litter in front of your premises you can be fined by the town Council for the offence. Could people also refrain from placing refuse sacks full of rubbish outside their shop overnight. It is not only an offence but and eyesore. A shopkeeper or businessperson can be fined if litter is found outside their door or in the view of people from a public place no matter where it has blown from or who put it there. We would ask that the town business people would at the very least sweep up outside your premises once a day, this is you legal requirement but few are keeping this practice up.

In the coming months we will be visiting business people to get commitments as to their responsibilities. Tom Flood of Longford Cineplex as taken it upon himself to be responsible for Bridge Street. Longford would be a much better place to live and do business if more people followed this example.

If you want guidelines on your responsibilities you can contact any of the Chamber committee members whether you are a member of Chamber or not. You can also download a copy of the Litter Act by Clicking here. This may take a few minutes to download.

Geraldine Swarbrigg: 043-45116
Matt O'Brien: 043-45829
Jonathan Quinn: 087 2393251
Fran Mc Nulty: 087-2346398
Michael Keenan: 086-8205131


Know your responsibilities for taking action against litter:

Laying Down The Law
The Litter Pollution Act, 1997 brought in tougher litter laws to combat the problems of litter pollution more effectively.
This report is intended as a practical guide to these litter laws. For further information you should contact your local authority or obtain a copy of the Litter Pollution Act from the Government Publications Office, 4/5 Harcourt Road, Dublin 2. Price £3.00. or you can download it now by clicking here it may take a few minutes to download.

Fines
Leaving or throwing litter in a public place is an offence which can be subject to an on-the-spot fine of €125 or a maximum fine of £1,500 in court. The definition of litter is quite wide and extends beyond casual pieces of paper or cigarette ends to anything large or small, which is, or is likely to become, unsightly. A person convicted of a litter offence may also be required by the court to pay the local authority's costs and expenses in investigating the offence and bringing the prosecution.

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.

Litter Black Spots
Where litter has accumulated on property for whatever reason and the litter is visible from a public place, the local authority can issue a notice to the owner or occupier requiring the prompt removal of the litter. Such a notice can also set down precautionary measures to be put in place to prevent a reoccurrence.

If a property owner or occupier fails or refuses to do everything that has been requested, the local authority has the power to do whatever is necessary itself and require the owner or occupier to pay all of the costs involved.

Illegal Dumping
The litter laws have increased the powers of local authorities to combat the problem of illegal dumping of refuse and rubbish. Where a local authority 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.

Extra powers are also available to local authorities to require a householder or business operator to indicate how and where they are disposing of their waste. This is particularly relevant if the householder or business owner is not availing of a refuse collection service or bringing their waste to an authorised disposal facility.

If you see someone dumping illegally, report the matter to your local authority 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. It is possible that the local authority can undertake this task but the promoter/organiser must bear the costs involved.

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 now 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 centres
- school/sports grounds
- beaches
- the immediate area surrounding another person's house.


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.

Advertising Flyers
The placing of advertising leaflets on car windscreens is prohibited and if you are proposing to distribute advertising leaflets in the street, you should first check with the local authority to see if they have introduced any local litter restrictions, which they are entitled to do.


PRESENTING YOUR REFUSE FOR COLLECTION
Taking a few small precautions in the way you present your refuse for collection will help enormously in preventing the creation of litter. If you are not already using a wheelie-bin or ordinary refuse bin, you should use strong plastic bags and avoid using lightweight supermarket type bags. You should put out refuse for collection on the morning of the collection and not on the day or night before. The longer it is left out for collection the more likely it is to attract the unwanted attention of dogs, cats and birds.

It is an offence to dispose of your household refuses in street litterbins.

WHO ENFORCES THE LITTER LAWS?
Local authorities are responsible for implementing the litter laws in their own areas. This means they are responsible for the prevention and control of litter and they have the power to take enforcement action against individuals who break or ignore these laws. Gardai also have the power to issue on the spot fines for litter offences.

LOCAL AUTHORITY DUTIES:
Litter Management Plans
Each local authority is obliged to prepare a litter management plan for its own area. This plan sets out their objectives to prevent and control litter as well as measures to encourage public awareness. The plan must also set out the measures and arrangements by which they intend to achieve their objectives. In preparing a litter management plan the local authority is obliged to consult with local community and voluntary interests before the Council members adopt a plan.

Litter Control
They are responsible for keeping public places under their control, including public roads, clear of litter as far as is practicably possible. This includes the arrangement of cleansing programmes and the provision and emptying of litter bins.

TIDY TOWNS
Litter will lose a town/village vital marks in the Tidy Town Competition.
If you live in a town or village you have a part to play in this competition. If a Tidy Town Committee is already up and running in your town/village, consider how you can help. Don't just leave it to others. Remember, if you really have no time to spare to work with your Tidy Towns Committee, then your efforts to maintain your own premises litter free will help their efforts to keep your community more environmentally friendly for all to enjoy.
Longford Tidy Town details: also Ardagh, Kenagh, Newtowncashel etc.

  
  
  
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