The scourge of litter is a problem, not just in Co Leitrim, but country wide.
The problem however, is especially prevalent on roadsides and in rural areas where fly-tipping is becoming all too common a sight, impacting local communities and also harming the potential tourism of our otherwise picturesque county.
Litter is also harmful to wildlife and pollutes waterways and things like glass bottles and metal have the potential to cause serious injuries.
The costs for local authorities to clean up litter also means that funds and labour which could be put to much better use elsewhere, have to be funneled into cleaning up someone else's mess.
But there is so much that we can do to help address littering and illegal dumping and Leitrim County Council is an invaluable support service for those who want to make a real difference to their community.
What can you do?
l Adopt a road: In 2016 the Council is re-launching its Adopt a Road programme to include GAA clubs in the county. To date 10 clubs have signed up but the Council is encouraging more clubs to get involved along with local businesses and community groups.
Under the Programme Leitrim County Council will supply all the necessary picking equipment including bags, gloves and hi-vis vests. The council will also organise the collection of the bagged litter on completion of the clean-up. For more information or to adopt a road contact: 071 9650400 Ext 802.
Four litter collection weekends have been organised as part of the re-launch of the Adopt a Road programme. The first was held on Saturday April 9 to great success but there are still three weekends to come:
Saturday June 11, 2016
Saturday, July 9, 2016
Saturday, October 8, 2016
So why not consider Adopting a Road and getting involved!
l Report dumping: If you see someone dumping or littering in your locality report them immediately. Remember, it is your hard earned taxes which have to be spent cleaning up the mess. Reporting incidents is simple. Just email details of any incidents including the location and time of dumping along with details of any cars or people involved to firstname.lastname@example.org or phone the environmental hotline on 1890 205 205. You can also contact the Council between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday at 071 965049. Complaints can be made anonymously and all details are confidential unless authorised by the person making the complaint. Online reports can also be made through www.fixyourstreet.ie
To report large scale illegal dumping, you can also contact the EPA using their ‘See It, Say It’ mobile phone app or contact the National Environmental Complaints Line on a 24 hour basis at 1850 365 121.
Organise a cleanup: Organising a cleanup of your local area is very simple. Get in touch with Leitrim County Council's Environmental Section on (071) 9650400 Ext 802 and give details of the intended collection area, the time and the numbers of people who will be involved. The staff will be able to give you advice on the correct way to hold your clean up as well as providing signage, hi-vis gear, gloves, bags and picking equipment. The Council will also arrange the collection of all rubbish once the cleanup is underway.
l Have your say: Make submissions on the County Leitrim Draft Litter Management Plan 2016-2019.
Copies of the plan are available at the Leitrim County Council offices in Carrick-on-Shannon; at the Area Office in Manorhamilton and at all Branch Libraries. You can also view the plan online at www.leitrimcoco.ie
l Adopt a Bring Bank: 20 of the county's Bring Banks have been adopted and are taken care of by a variety of groups from Tidy Towns organisations to national schools, community development associations to various residents' associations. The initiative is designed to tackle litter problems associated with bring bank facilities and those adopting the bring banks litter pick in the vicinity to ensure that it remains clean and accessible.
Groups adopting a bring bank are also essential as they alert the Council when bottle banks need emptying or if significant littering or dumping is occurring so that measures can be put in place to tackle this.
Bring Banks at Askill, Aughacashel, Aughawillan, Ballinagleragh, Cloone, Corraleehan, Drumkeerin, Drumlea, Glenade, Glencar, Gortletteragh, Killargue and Tarmon, have yet to be adopted. Contact the Council's Environmental Section directly on (071) 960400 Ext 802 for more details.
Litter is everyone's problem
Remember, littering is everyone's problem and only by standing up and taking action as a community and as a county, can we really make a difference to the way our roads, towns and villages look.
Ensure that your household is registered with a proper waste collection facility and dispose of your rubbish responsibly.
Recycle as much as possible and consider using a composting system if space allows.
Bring your litter home with you and teach your children to dispose of rubbish properly.
Get the message out there that we are proud of our county and want to keep it looking lovely!