Wicklow County Council is joining forces with An Taisce for the annual National Spring Clean campaign and local communities are being encouraged to register and take part.
Throughout April the National Spring Clean will encourage communities and local groups to take on the problem of litter in local areas in order to see the benefit of a litter free environment. National Spring Clean is operated by An Taisce in partnership with Wicklow County Council and supported by the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment.
Over the past 21 years, the National Spring Clean has been focused on the message of collective responsibility we share in tackling and preventing our national litter problem. By participating in organised cleanups, groups and individuals of all ages come together to make a meaningful and positive contribution in their own communities.
This year, the 2019 initiative wants to raise awareness about the link between litter and climate change – the biggest challenge of our time – to highlight how combined local actions can have a global effect.
Clean-ups are one end of the story but preventing litter is also critical to reduce its impact and minimise consumption of resources. Wicklow County Council is working with schools and Tidy Towns groups to promote a switch to reusable water bottles and keep cups for coffee.
The Council has installed water fountains in Greystones and in three secondary schools to cut down on single use containers.
The bottle filling fountains in school have counters so we can measure their success. One school recently reported 20,500 uses for a machine installed last January. Reusable containers can quickly reduce the amount of waste and litter generated helping us take action on Climate Change.
An Taisce estimates that 500,000 people were involved in last year’s campaign as volunteers with over 2,600 tonnes of litter collected in 2018. It is hoped that 2019 will build on this progress and make this year’s event the most successful ever.
With over 150 events in County Wicklow, something will be happening near you but if you want to organise an event for your own locality, register with www.nationalspringclean.org and become part of the campaign. An Taisce and Wicklow County Council will provide clean-up kits while the Council can organise a collection of litter picked up.