TONS of rubbish has been collected right across the county in recent weeks, once again highlighting the dire problem of littering and the incredible waste of council resources in tackling the issue.
Cllr Jim Deane pointed out that a recent litter-picking exercise on the N80 from the Topaz service station to Walls Forge yielded a whopping 41 bags of rubbish. A similar litter-picking effort from Munnelly’s garage on the Kilkenny Road to Cloughna Lane saw a staggering 54 bags of rubbish collected.
“This is now a serious issue and we need a campaign that is ongoing,” warned cllr Deane. On a positive note, cllr Deane paid tribute to the many volunteers who work so tirelessly to ensure Carlow town is looking its best. He complimented the current appearance of the town, its flower boxes and well-tended areas.
Cllr Fintan Phelan remarked that while members of the public see rubbish in various areas, it did not mean “a lack of effort” on the part of council staff, who are working continuously to tackle the problem. “The message needs to go out that littering will not be tolerated; it’s unacceptable and that the staff are doing all they can,” he said.
Cllr John Cassin asked if any litter fines would result from these recent collections. “Probably not,” replied acting area engineer Pierre Lewis. Cllr Cassin remarked that he didn’t think people “appreciated how much it costs to clean up after other people”.
Cllr Andrea Dalton reflected that a clean up at the N80 in Tinryland last April yielded two-and-a-half trailer-loads of rubbish. “To think that 50-odd bags of rubbish have accumulated since then,” she said, adding that the issue has “gone beyond a joke” and polluters “needed to be held accountable”.
Cllr Walter Lacey paid tribute to the work of Eugene Walsh on the River Burrin and also remarked the supermarkets need to take more responsibility for their trolleys, another source of litter.
Cllr William Paton paid tribute to the 14 volunteers who gathered tons of rubbish from the River Slaney in Tullow from Tullow Kayaking Club to the islands beyond the town’s bridge last week and also a clean-up The Mullawn cemetery.
Cllr Fergal Browne stated that the council needs to “get more aggressive” on the issue of litter, adding that hundreds of thousands of euros have been spent on rubbish collections by the council.
“There needs to be a change of mindset,” cllr Browne warned.