Our Tuesday and Thursday volunteers concentrate very much on litter picking, street sweeping and generally taking care of our streets, lanes and access roads. On Tuesday evenings the group generally stays close to the town centre while on Thursdays access roads are visited in turn.
This year we are delighted to report that two of our most notorious black spots have been cleared up. We worked closely with the environmental section of the council to engage with the site owners and are very pleased that in both cases there has been a positive outcome.
We have some members who take pleasure in working in the community but like to work to their own schedule. We are very happy to facilitate them. One member does the bypass. This has allowed us to obtain some data on litter. Over the last year, having divided the by-pass into 4 sections, he routinely collected two large bags of litter in each section. This rate was maintained right through the winter but since March he has noticed a decrease, sometimes only filling one bag. Great news for us all.
Our beautiful Railway station is a magnet for litter. During the school term students from the High School regularly clean this area. We also have members who help with the Clonmel Soup Kitchen based in the station and they do a Tuesday evening litter pick every week. We have engaged with the council who in turn have written to Iarnrod Eireann and they have received a very positive response from them. We expect to see an improvement at this site going forward.
We meet officially 3 times a week though smaller groups and/or individuals work away in their own time. The Tuesday and Thursday evening meetings are more often than not, litter picking. Our Litter Warden devises a plan of action and depending on how many members are meeting up, we open it up to the public by advertising it on Facebook and/or Instagram. Many of the younger people only use Instagram so we are able to target our audience. It also ensures that we do not end up with too many people while we still need to be aware of social distancing.
We have suggested the following to the council as part of our submission to the town redevelopment plan... Cigarette bins outside all businesses not just bars, restaurants and betting shops. Cigarette bins outside employee entrances as this is often where we find lots of cigarette butts. Big Belly bins in popular areas which will take more waste while making it difficult for corvids to pull out rubbish from the bins.
One positive going forward is communication with schools about litter picking. Up to now the High Schools has been our stalwart when it comes to litter picking. Each year the Transition classes have kept their area spotless. We will be delighted to re-engage with them in September and are already gathering materials such as high viz. Conversations with members of staff in the other 3 secondary schools should see them join us once we submit a program of work to them.