Some facts about litter
- litter is unsightly, it spoils the beauty of our surroundings.
- litter is widespread in the countryside as well as in streets and towns; black plastic silage wrappers and discarded fertiliser bags have become very obtrusive in the countryside.
- litter is a health hazard: disposable nappies and the remains of picnics cause particular problems; litter can be a breeding ground for vermin which can cause outbreaks of disease e.g. Gastro-enteritis and salmonella.
- litter is a threat to human safety; broken glass, tins, scrap etc. Can cause minor and major injuries especially in recreational areas such as beaches and parks where children may be barefoot at play.
- litter is a threat to wildlife: birds, animals and fish can be injured and killed by plastic bags, polystyrene beads, disposable plastic can holders, steel rings from beverage cans, oil, indigestable pellets, supermarket trolleys.
- litter costs money: approx. £13 million is spent annually by local authorities on litter removal and street cleaning—it costs on average nine times more to sweep litter from streets than to collect it at the doorstep.
- litter affects tourism and industrial development programmes: approximately 5,000 written complaints about litter are made to Bord Fáilte each year by visitors.
- an occupier of land which is not a public place is required by law to keep the land free of litter which is visible from a public place (Litter Act, 1982).
- local authorities are employed to make bye-laws requiring occupiers to keep certain surrounding areas free of litter: bye laws made by Dublin County Council, for example, require householders, shopkeepers and other occupiers to keep the area immediately in front of their premises clean and litter free.
What can I do?
If you wish to contribute to the protection and improvement of your local environment, you might take a three-step approach—think, look and act. All three are important. Action is the most important.
First think. Do I value my surroundings? Do I have a sense of pride and respect for my house, my garden, my street, my farm, my locality? Does it matter to me if they are untidy and neglected? Do I make the things worse in any way by what I do? A little thought along these lines will help you to clarify your own attitudes and may help you to identify some aspects of your own behaviour which could do with change.
Next look. How does my house look? How does my locality look? Does it contain eyesores which I no longer notice because I see them every day? Does my area convey a message of care and pride or neglect and dereliction? Look for litter blackspots, derelict sites, abandoned cars, unsightly rubbish collections, streams and rivers clogged up with bicycles, bedsteads, supermarket trolleys and other articles. Look for potential for improvements.
I’m sure many of you can identify with the above article. If so, then act. You can join us on the Amenity Group. Best results are achieved by community effort. Claregalway is crying out for a face lift but we need you to help us achieve this.
New members always welcome. As the adage goes many hands make light work. Contact any member of the committee:-
- Josie Concannon (798183)
- Josette Farrell (798430)
- Sean Harte (798726)
- Rose Kavanagh (798266)
- Larry King (798067)
- Celia Lennon (798081)
- Vincent Lyons (798374)
- Seamus O’Connell 798245
P.S. Sincere thanks to the small number of people who turned out for the Clean Up on Easter week. Despite the inclement conditions, much was achieved as we managed to fill the County Council truck with rubbish.
If each townland got together for an hour or two any evening, it’s amazing what could be achieved. Annette Woods (Litter Warden) is available to offer help in disposing of refuse. Contact her during normal working hours (9am–5pm) at 087 2473092.