Most common items illegally dumped in Coillte forests during Covid include washing machines, fridge/freezers, household waste, tyres, beds and sofas  

  • Increased CCTV and surveillance in operation at known forest dumping blackspots 
  • €2 million* spent by Coillte on forest clean ups in the past five years 

Coillte reveals that the most commonly illegally dumped items to the nation’s forests over the past year include:

  1. Washing machines/fridge freezers (these are almost always free to re-cycle at your local bring centre.)
  2. Household waste, e.g., black sacks sometimes with food, nappies, cans and bottles (the latter two can be re-cycled at no cost)
  3. Tyres
  4. Beds and sofas, household furniture
  5. Building rubble i.e. old bricks, wooden planks and soil

Illegal dumping and fly tipping remain a serious issue for the nation’s forests” said Mick Power, Coillte’s National Estates Manager. “The vast majority of visitors are respectful and bring all their litter home, which Coillte and staff on the ground appreciate enormously”. 

 There is a small number of people who make the public roads and entrances to our forests unsightly, some of the rubbish is foul smelling, attracts vermin and is a health and safety hazard for families, their children and their dogs”, according to Power. 

Coillte has spent almost €2million to remove illegally dumped waste from its forests over the past five years. This material is often discarded at forest entrances or along the forest boundaries which makes it unsightly and unsanitary for visitors.

Illegal dumping causes serious environmental problems including:

  • Damage to habitats and biodiversity
  • Polluting soils, rivers and drinking waters


Coillte takes the issue of illegal dumping extremely seriously and works closely with the Gardaí and the local council authorities to ensure offenders are prosecuted. In known blackspot areas, Coillte has increased its surveillance by deploying remote cameras to monitor illegal dumping activity and to help seek prosecutions.

Coillte encourages the public to report all instances of illegal dumping to the relevant Local Authorities immediately or contact Coillte directly via its confidential forest security hotline on 1890 800 455.

Coillte also operates a “Love this place, leave no trace” litter policy.

“We continue to welcome people to Coillte forests knowing they provide a much needed physical and mental boost for so many during Covid. We ask all visitors to the forests to bring home any litter with them – just like you were never there, “ said Power. “That way forests remain beautiful for everyone.”


*€1,977,500 spent by Coillte on removal of illegal dumping from forests in the past five years, averaging €395,000 per year.    


Over the past 15 years in the Dublin/Wicklow mountains, Coillte has been an active partner in the PURE project. The PURE Project is an environmental project established to combat illegal dumping/fly tipping in the Wicklow/Dublin uplands.