There has been a big increase in illegal dumping since the coronavirus epidemic began, the Dublin City University (DCU) Water Institute has warned.

It is appealing to the public to help it map all illegal dumping sites along Ireland’s rivers, lakes, and canals — while keeping within the 5km travel distance set by the Government.

Recent incidents include a man in Cork who was dumping dozens of bags of rubbish in an unguarded graveyard and major illegal dumping in north Wicklow.

Illegal Dumping

plastic bottles and other garbage washed up on a beach in the county of cork, Ireland. (Photo by: Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Dublin City Council has reported a rise in illegal dumping of up to 25%.

The DCU Water Institute, which monitors Ireland’s water quality, is asking people to map the littering of waterways as part of the 5KLITTERSNAP, which it hopes will identify the type of litter and its source.

Discarded litter on Portmarnock Beach

16/7/2013 Litter on Portmarnock Beach. Pictured is discarded litter on Portmarnock Beach. The litter being left behind by people on the public beaches in becoming a serious issue for local councils. Photo Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

The institute is asking people to take photos of any waterway littering and complete a short questionnaire.

The survey is open from today until next Friday, and the data will be put on a central litter map accessible on their website.

To take part in the 5KLITTERSNAP go to


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