Members of Cavan Tidy Towns who are participated in the National Spring Clean programme celebrating St Patrick’s Day.

National Spring Clean underway

Almost 50 Cavan groups have registered for this year's National Spring Clean and it's still not too late.

National Spring Clean is operated by An Taisce in partnership with local authorities and the Department of Environment and sponsors Mars Wrigley Ireland. This year An Taisce celebrates its 75th anniversary and the largest ever Spring Clean would be a fitting way to mark it.

Throughout the month of April communities will make an extra special effort to tackle the problem of litter their areas and to see the benefits of a litter-free environment. Over the past 24 years, National Spring Clean participants of all ages have volunteered over 12 million hours of their time, with almost 45,000 tonnes of litter collected to date.

This year the campaign also wants to raise awareness about the circular economy model and how it will reduce litter and impact positively towards climate change.

The principles of a circular economy have been central to the ethos of National Spring Clean for the past 24 years. Last year some 35% of all waste collected was recycled, thanks to recyclable waste bags provided to participating groups and individuals, while the removal of litter from our natural environment helped to tackle biodiversity loss. National Spring Clean hopes that these litter collection initiatives will prompt people to consider their waste output and moderate consumption behaviours that produce excess waste and look at alternatives that will move us away from a throwaway culture to a more sustainable circular culture.

Minister for the Environment, Eamon Ryan, said the Department was delighted to support the initiative and congratulated An Taisce on their anniversary.

“The efforts of local volunteers, many of whom come back year after year, are to be highly commended as they continue to make a real positive contribution to their local community and wider environment. It is particularly pleasing to note that a significant proportion of the waste collected is also recycled, again due to the efforts of these volunteers."

National Spring Clean manager, Emlyn Cullen, commented: “This is an important year for An Taisce as it celebrates its 75th Anniversary and it would be fantastic if we can make this the largest National Spring Clean to date as part of the celebrations. So far, the numbers of volunteers already registered is huge but there’s still time for people to register online and get involved this year.”

Downloadable information packs are available on the Spring Clean website for volunteers. The pack contains details on how to organise an event, health and safety information, litter facts, useful contacts, media and publicity advice, a guide on how to recycle and information on litter and the law.