Illegal Waste Risk Map (beta)

This map shows the percentage probability of illegal waste activity (illegal dumping) occurring in an area based on seven risk factors (shown below). It is intended for use by waste enforcement authorities in proactive waste prevention activities. Areas coloured in green or yellow are least likely (50%) to have illegal waste activities, whereas those showing in deeper orange and especially into red are predicted to be more likely to see illegal waste activities. This is a predictive map that shows probability of illegal waste: this does not mean that the areas of low risk have no risk.

The map is considered under development and is released for review by authorities involved in waste crime so that the methodology used may be improved if necessary. Feedback from enforcement authorities on the map content and any possible refinement to the risk factors used is welcomed to analyticsstaff@epa.ie .

The probabilities shown in this map are derived through a logistic regression model using seven risk factors and a ground truth dataset of known illegal waste locations.

Following a literature review of 44 international studies, 12 risk factors were identified as relevant in an Irish context. Using a ground truth dataset of known illegal waste locations that was gathered from Local Authorities the actual relationship between these risk factors and real illegal waste activities was determined. Through this analysis, seven of the risk factors proved to be statistically significant, namely;


  • • Distance to quarries • Distance to wetland
  • • Distance to construction and demolition sites • Distance to transportation networks
  • • Distance to industrial areas • Distance to water
  • • Distance to artificial surfaces

A national map for each of these risk factors then formed the independent variables for a logistic regression model, with the model trained using the ground truth dataset of known illegal waste locations. Many combinations of the risk factors were assessed to determine the most accurate output. Ultimately the best output was achieved using all 7 risk factors.

Accessing the map

You can view the map on EPAMaps here where it is visible only between the scales of 1:500,000 – 1:30,000.

You may find it more beneficial to view it alongside your own data on your internal mapping systems. To do this;

  • You can consume an OGC WMS service here
  • You can download the latest data from the Waste Enforcement section of the GeoPortal Get Data page Get Data
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Using the map and providing feedback

Please use the map as you see fit to see if or how it can benefit your day-to-day work in waste enforcement. Be sure to zoom in as the map offers more detail than is visible at a national scale.

We consider this map, and the analysis methods that created it, to be a work in progress and are releasing these for the review of waste enforcement authorities. We would greatly value any feedback you have to offer, especially, but not limited to:

  • • how useful the map is for you,
  • • how accurate you’ve found the predictions,
  • • the appropriateness of the risk factors used (should any be removed, or new ones added?)
  • • how you are likely to use this map in your day to day work

Also, if you have additional ground truth data that you are willing to provide we will gladly incorporate this into the model.

All feedback is gladly accepted to analyticsstaff@epa.ie

Most recent data update

30.01.2024