The 31 local authorities in Ireland took more than 850 prosecutions for breaches of environmental standards in 2018.
According to a new report, there was a big increase in the number of people brought to court for breaking waste or litter laws.
This new report from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) focuses on local authorities’ environmental enforcement performance in 2018.
It says councils increased their enforcement activities over the course of the year.
There were 168,000 inspections, along with 20,000 enforcement actions and more than 850 prosecutions.
Many of these prosecutions were taken because people did not pay litter or waste fines.
Local authorities received 78,000 environment complaints – 90% of which related to litter or waste.
The EPA says councils are performing well but says more focus is needed to ensure people segregate their waste to support better recycling.
It also said improvement is needed in terms of data sharing between local authorities and other enforcement bodies to address illegal waste activities.
It advised that the number of farm inspections should return to previous levels in order to benefit the quality of rivers and lakes.
The EPA also recommended coordinating an increasing level of action to regulate the burning of solid fuels to improve air quality.