Increasing levels of illegal dumping along one of Longford townâ€™s most scenic walkways is costing Longford County Council thousands of euro each year.
Over the past 12 months alone, close to four tonnes of rubbish were retrieved along the route known locally as the â€˜Ferafad Walkâ€™.
In monetary terms, that translated to more than â‚¬3,000 to date. Now there are fears that the cost of clearing the area may spiral if the current rate of dumping continues .
â€œThereâ€™s been an awful lot of illegal dumping thatâ€™s taken place down there over the last month,â€ conceded the Councilâ€™s Environmental Awareness Officer, Gary Brady.
The walk, which spans the best part of 6km, linking Ferafad to Stonepark, is widely viewed as being one of Longford townâ€™s most idyllic passageways.
Due to its remote location and its close proximity to surrounding bogland, CCTV is now operational in the area.
In spite of those measures, fly-tipping remains a clear and pressing problem.
â€œWe (Council) have spent a lot of money tidying it up,â€ continued Mr Brady.
â€œBut it seems to have gotten particularly bad over the past couple of weeks.â€
Mr Brady put the recent upsurge in illegal dumping down to the blatant refusal of some to take responsibilty for their rubbish.
â€œItâ€™s laziness really,â€ he implied, before adding a further clean-up operation had been planned for the coming days.
â€œYou would come across buggies, mattresses, household waste really.
â€œNinety per cent of the items we find are actually recycable.
â€œAnd when you consider things, itâ€™s actually costing people more money to drive out to the bog rather than recycle it properly.â€
Mr Brady said the Council remained fully intent on ensuring genuine users of the walkway were not put off by the goings on of recent weeks.
Fines have and still remained a viable option to the council, he said, as he implored members of the public to play their part in reporting any illegal activity.
â€œItâ€™s a very scenic walk and lots of different people use it, so yes, we would like to keep it that way,â€ he said.
Mr Brady added that reports of fly-tipping and illegal dumping can be made by contacting Longford County Councilâ€™s Environment Section at (043) 3343367.