Single Use Drinking Containers Most Common Item Collected In County Clean-Up

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Tralee Tidy Towns volunteers gather for the County Clean-Up day back in April. Photo by Dermot Crean

A RECORD 5,500 volunteers took part in the Kerry County Clean Up last month which saw 8,000 bags of litter collected, the highest ever tally in the seven years in which the environmental and community initiative has existed.

KWD Recycling and Kerry County Council have completed an analysis of the litter collected which revealed that single-use drinking containers were the most common item of litter retrieved from locations across the county, followed by sweet/chocolate wrappers.

This year’s County Clean Up took place on Saturday, 14 April, and the largest ever number of volunteers took part, as Cathaoirleach of Kerry County Council, Cllr John Sheahan explained: ‘The growing success of the initiative since it was established in 2012 is evident in the huge voluntary effort all over Kerry and the volume of litter retrieved is indicative of the larger numbers taking part.’

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‘We need to continue to harness this voluntary spirit and ensure that more people take part in clean ups like this in their areas more often. Tidy Towns groups are always looking for volunteers or there may be potential for a new group like that in your area. I would like to thank the many volunteers who led the charge in their own areas and I want to acknowledge the work of KWD Recycling in collecting and disposing of the litter,’ said Cllr Sheahan.

The Cathaoirleach paid tribute particularly to Kerry GAA, Kerry IFA and Kerry ICMSA and Chamber Alliances who mobilised their members all over Kerry to come out on the day and lend a hand.

Director of Environment Services with Kerry County Council, John Breen said that illegal dumping and fly-tipping is an issue which requires a whole-community response. ‘Kerry relies on its reputation as a clean and tidy county for the benefit of our own environment locally and in attracting visitors from outside the county.

The blight on our landscape that are disposable cups is one which everyone can help to address, and Kerry County Council will continue to support initiatives which reduce and eventually eliminate their usage.’

Noel O’Reilly of KWD Recycling said there was a strong commitment to the clean up all over Kerry with many individuals and groups getting involved for the first time.

“Far more areas and roadsides were covered than usually which contributed to the large increase in the number of bags of litter. We are sending certificates to all the groups that registered and sincere thanks to them for making such a wonderful effort.”

YEAR                  2012    2013    2014    2015    2016    2017    2018

Bags collected: 5,000   6,500   7,400   6,000   7,000   6,500   8,000

Volunteers:       500      900      2,550   3,200   3,500   5,000   5,500

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