This team of volunteers pictured in the process of picking litter in the Derrycramp area of Cavan.

Tidy Towns volunteers in local litter blitz

The irresponsible and selfish behaviour of motorists flinging disposable coffee cups from cars, together with fast food wrappers and mineral cans, is blighting the approach roads to Cavan Town and is partly responsible for the county town losing its “litter free” status in the latest Irish Businesses Against Litter League (IBAL) rankings.

Dozens of volunteers joined members of the Cavan Tidy Towns Committee last Saturday morning to take part in the sixth litter pick in and around the town in the last few months.

The chairman of Cavan Tidy Towns, Tony Prunty, told theCeltthat they split the volunteers up into small teams and they were dispersed to 10 locations. “We have teams on every approach road into the town today and in the town as well,” he said.

There is now a concerted drive by the local Tidy Towns Committee in unison with Cavan County Council to regain Cavan Town’s “litter free” status and improve its position in the IBAL litter league.

“IBAL inspect the town twice a year and we came 23rd out of 37 towns, which is not too good. I hope, as a result of all these Spring cleans and litter picks, that we will have a clean town and will improve our standing in that IBAL League, up to the top 10,” said Mr Prunty.

The main problem areas for litter, he said, are in alleyways and side streets; while cigarette butts are also a factor.

“Litter in the Con Smith Park and the Green Lake Park was also a problem. It includes people enjoying nature when sitting on the benches and then leaving their litter behind them,” revealed Mr Prunty.

“We have achieved a high level of cleanliness with these litter picks and hopefully those causing the litter problems will take note of our work and be more responsible with their litter,” he added.

They have collected over 450 bags of litter from ditches, hedges and streets in the last two months and that was before Saturday’s blitz.

Around 40 members of the Cavan Gaels GAA club joined them for a litter pick a couple of weeks ago and “around 79 bags of litter was picked-up throughout the whole town”.

Litter warden Marie Morgan was on hand to supply the bags and pickers, bibs and gloves. “Whatever we require, we just have to ask Marie. She is very helpful. The council are very helpful as wel. They have been giving us financial support and materials that we need,” said Mr Prunty.

He thanked Anthony Clail for making his van and trailer available for the litter picks. The trailer has signs on it, including ‘Cavan Tidy Towns Community at Work’ and ‘Litter Picking in Progress’.

Anthony collects all the rubbish bags and brings them to the dump on Monday morning.

Litter warden’s view

There are two litter wardens in the county - Marie Morgan and Darren Duffy.

Marie told the Celt that the lockdown has given the impetus to communities to come out and clean up litter.

“We have never seen the scale of the groups that have been out picking litter this year. It is fantastic and everyone stays in their bubbles. People are doing their own townlands – it is on an epic scale,” said a delighted Marie.

She praised the Cavan Tidy Towns committee and volunteers on their efforts and the great pride they take in their community.

“Lots of families have been using litter picking as part of home schooling, which is fantastic – maybe the education will start in the homes now,” added Marie.

She revealed that a number of cases are due before the courts shortly in relation to flying tipping.

CCTV cameras have been installed at a number of blackspots for fly tipping.

“We are watching,” warned Marie.