An undercover investigation into illegal dumping across Ireland has revealed that huge amounts of waste have been left in authorised sites.
During the six month research, RTE Investigates found that the country’s waste industry is policed by an inadequate regulatory regime.
The Western Seaboard and the route of the Wild Atlantic Way were areas that repeatedly came to the attention of investigators.
During RTÉ Investigates: Ireland’s Wild Waste, aired on Monday night, secret filming of a facility, operated by Davey Transport Ltd and under a waste permit from Donegal County Council, was shown.
The footage revealed evidence of large volumes of commercial and household waste being burned and buried near the coastal town of Moville.
Waste appearing to date as far back as 2008 was discovered on scrub ground behind a quarry situated on the Inishowen peninsula.
Satellite imagery was also examined by RTE investigators to assess the scale of dumping activity over the last ten years.
Upon seeing the footage, Environmental Director Fergal Mee said he had never seen anything like it.
“I have never seen anything remotely like it, I have to say. It would leave one speechless. That parcel of land is no good for future use. It looked like to have been quite scenic,” he said.
“Aesthetically it is unforgivable. As to the potential contamination to ground water, we don’t know what is in that waste. I did notice pieces of plastic, old clothes, a lot of plastic, some metallic waste. Genuinely it is appalling”.
Following questioning from RTE Investigates, Davey Transport Ltd sought further clarification into the details of the research and said that they were fully co-operating with the local council.
Meanwhile, Donegal County Council confirmed that inspections of the facility and surrounding lands that were the subject of the programme are ongoing in collaboration with other agencies and stakeholders.