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Challenge / Goal

Across the Dublin region, illegal dumping costs the local authorities more than €1.5 million per year. While the vast majority of citizens and businesses dispose of their waste correctly, some people dump their waste illegally. This has a negative impact on the local environment and communities.


In South Dublin County Council, the Waste & Litter Enforcement Management Team identified a unique and innovative use for drone technology - tackling the persistent problem of illegal dumping. In 2017, with the support of a national anti-dumping initiative, South Dublin County Council purchased two DJI Phantom 4 Drones to assist in waste facility monitoring and the identification of illegal dumping. Remotely operated, the drone can target locations within a 300 meter radius of the pilot. The drones are used by South Dublin County Council to respond to public reports of illegal dumping in locations difficult to access, and to surveil suspected illegal activity. The footage captured, combined with evidence from other technologies like stationary cameras, has been instrumental in the collection of valuable evidence. This has empowered the council to pursue enforcement of littering laws.

Since drone usage in Ireland falls under the remit of the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) who are responsible for registration, regulation and training, seven staff members of South Dublin County Council have been IAA trained to ensure compliant, safe, and efficient piloting of the drones.


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South Dublin County Council

Service providers

South Dublin County Council; Irish Aviation Authority (IAA)

End users

South Dublin County Council

    Main benefits

  • Reducing soil pollution

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