Mr. Denis Naughten, T.D., Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, today 21 December 2016, announced the extension of the Protecting Uplands and Rural Environments (PURE) project for a further three year period, 2017-2019. The Minister will provide funding of €115,000 per annum in support of the project over the three year period.
In announcing the funding, the Minister expressed his satisfaction with the progress of the PURE Project to date, saying that "Given the proximity of the Dublin Wicklow Uplands to the largest population centre, PURE addresses a problem that is unique in Ireland and it addresses this problem in a unique way with a partnership approach, addressing the problem of illegal dumping and fly tipping in the Wicklow and Dublin Uplands. This partnership between local communities, local authorities and government agencies has enjoyed great success in keeping one of our most beautiful and most visited landscapes free of litter and the blight of illegal dumping.
We are all aware that the Wicklow and Dublin Uplands are one of this country's most important and popular amenity areas for both tourists and citizens and I am delighted to extend funding of €345,000 to the Project over the three year period 2017-2019. I now urge everyone to think of both the environmental and economic consequences of their actions and to protect our shared environment by disposing of litter and waste in the correct manner."
Note For Editors
The PURE project was initially established on a pilot basis in January 2006, to combat the escalating problem of fly-tipping and small scale illegal dumping in the scenic area encompassed by the Wicklow and Dublin Uplands. It is a regional environmental partnership initiative which unites statutory and non-statutory interests in the Wicklow/Dublin Uplands including the relevant local authorities, Coillte, the National Parks & Wildlife Service (NPWS) and a number of non-statutory organisations represented by the Wicklow Uplands Council. The project has been extended previously following reviews. The current PURE project is due to conclude at end 2016.
An evaluation of the performance of the PURE project since its inception has revealed that PURE has been highly effective. To date:
- the PURE Truck has removed over 2,815 tonnes of illegally dumped waste from the Wicklow/South Dublin Uplands;
- PURE has investigated over 9,000 reports of illegal dumping received through both the EPA-PURE Lo-call Phone Line 1850 365 121 and the PURE Office.
- PURE also uses covert CCTV equipment to monitor dumping "blackspots", which assists in identifying and prosecuting illegal dumpers and have developed a GIS system so that all incidences of illegal dumping can be recorded using GPS technology.
- PURE supports education programmes in schools across the region and community driven events such as the PURE Mile Awards.