PURE Remove 140,000KG Of Litter And Rubbish Illegally Dumped

trekkers walking pure south dublin uplands

In 2022 the environmental initiative Pure removed over 700 individual dumping sites, with the collection of over 140,000kg (140 tonnes) of illegally dumped waste from the remote, beautiful, and scenic, Wicklow/Dublin Uplands. Pure has made huge progress in reducing illegal dumping in the Wicklow/Dublin Uplands. If you compare the amount of dumping collected by Pure in 2022, which was 140 tonnes of waste, to 2008 which was their busiest year, when they removed 440 tonnes, the initiative has seen a 68% reduction in illegal dumping in Wicklow/Dublin Uplands.

Minister of State Ossian Smyth with responsibility for Public Procurement, eGovernment and Circular Economy said, ‘Everyone who spends time in the beautiful Wicklow and Dublin uplands benefits from the work of the Pure Project and the efforts of the volunteers who participate annually in the Pure Mile Initiative.  The reduction in illegal dumping in the area is impressive and my department is pleased to support this work.’ The Pure Truck is on the road every day, and since Pure was established in 2006, it has removed over 3,800,000kg (3,800 tonnes) of rubbish from over 14,000 illegal dumping sites in the Wicklow/Dublin Uplands with the project processing over 15,000 reports/complaints. If you were to put all the rubbish that Pure has removed from the uplands into standard household rubbish bags, they would fill over 400,000 bags. If you lined up all these bags on the road, they would stretch all the way from Dublin to Dingle.

dumping south dublin uplands

Ian Davis, Pure Manager, commented ‘Illegal dumping is not unique to the Wicklow/Dublin uplands, however, while most regions in Ireland are currently reporting an increase in illegal dumping, Pure are seeing a decrease. We’re the first initiative of its kind in Ireland and the success of Pure is based on a multi- stakeholder approach, with a strong emphasis on collaboration and cooperation between all of the organisations involved. However, it is extremely important that we do not become complacent, because if we do, it won’t take long before illegal dumping will be on the increase.’ 

Pure has been recording and mapping every location and incident of illegal dumping in the Wicklow/Dublin Uplands since 2007 and they have built up a base-line-data of all illegal dumping activity in this region, the location of dumping, type of dumping, landowner, and amount of dumping, and for a number of years now they have been recording an annual reduction. The data that Pure collect is valuable information providing indicators into the nature and extent of illegal dumping in Wicklow/Dublin Uplands, and statistical evidence for all illegal dumping incidents in this region.

Pure utilises a multi-disciplined approach in combating illegal dumping, incorporating a number of educational initiatives, environment/community projects – The Pure Mile, public awareness campaigns, regional/national media campaigns, enforcement and preventative measures, GPS/GIS data-base to record all illegal dumping sites, covert CCTV operations, and a dedicated vehicle – The Pure Truck, that removes all illegal dumping from the Wicklow/Dublin Uplands. Pure is a partnership approach, incorporating statutory, non-statutory organisations, and members of the public, and for the past six years they have recorded an annual reduction in illegal dumping activity. This reduction in dumping coincides with the huge increase in Pure Mile groups, which is now numbering over 1,000 miles of road, mountains, woodlands, valleys, forestries, upland amenities, car parks, currently being adopted in Wicklow, South Dublin, Dun- Laoghaire, uplands.

The Pure Mile is an environmental, community, heritage initiative, that encourages communities and groups living in rural areas of Wicklow, South Dublin, and Dun-Laoghaire, to adopt a mile of road, or miles of road, in their local area, or in the Wicklow/Dublin Uplands and organise litter picks, clean-ups, anti-dumping campaigns, research information about their local wildflowers, plants, trees, animals, and the built, cultural, and social heritage of an area. Thousands of Pure Mile volunteers, ranging from individuals, family groups, community groups, walking groups, cycling groups, running groups, scouts, beavers, businesses, and organisations, removed hundreds of tonnes of illegally dumped waste and thousands of bags of litter and rubbish from the Wicklow/Dublin Uplands. Pure provide all groups with Pure Mile signage, Pure Mile bags, gloves, litter pickers and Pure Mile high-vis vests, and they also remove all of the rubbish collected by the groups. In 2022, Pure Mile groups organised clean ups and litter picks of the Wicklow/Dublin Uplands, which resulted in a visible decrease of litter and rubbish in upland areas. These clean-up events carried out by Pure Mile Groups resulted in the removal of over 4,000 bags of litter and rubbish, and it further demonstrates the necessity and importance of The Pure Mile Project, and the need for continued collaboration and engagement to protect the Wicklow/Dublin upland environment.


Sarah Brooks

Sarah Brooks

Sarah has worked in marketing and content creation for many years. In her role at Newsgroup, she is the online editor of www.newsgroup.ie with a particular interest in local news and events. Sarah also works closely with our editorial team on our printed editions in Tallaght, Lucan, Clondalkin and Rathcoole/Saggart. If you have a story and would like to make contact please email Sarah at info@newsgroup.ie.



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