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Dublin: 13 °C Thursday 15 November, 2018
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'Communities will be united': Groups around Ireland to take part in World Cleanup Day

Next Saturday, groups who take part join together to clean up illegal waste in their local area.

Lord Mayor Nial Ring announcing Dublin City Council’s support for World Cleanup Day
Lord Mayor Nial Ring announcing Dublin City Council’s support for World Cleanup Day
Image: Dublin City Council

A NUMBER OF groups across Ireland are set to take part in World Cleanup Day next Saturday, in which people from around the world will “stand up against the global trash problem”. 

The idea for World Cleanup Day came about 10 years ago in Estonia in 2008 from an organisation called Let’s Do It, when 4% of the population came out to clean the country of illegally dumped waste. 

Since then, the movement has spread across the world, and nearly 20 million people have taken part. This year people in 150 countries are set to participate. 

On the day, groups who take part join together to clean up illegal waste in their local area. 

“Our movement connects and empowers citizens, companies and governments to clean up their countries of mismanaged waste, such as litter and illegal waste dump site,” the World Cleanup Day website says. 

This year will be the first year the movement has run in Ireland. Colette Henry, founder of Kinder to Earth, an environmental awareness group, was invited to attend the World Clean Up conference in Estonia in January. 

When she returned from the trip, Henry got in touch with JCI Ireland, a network of active young people committed to creating an impact in their community, about bringing the movement to Ireland. 

From then, the idea grew and JCI Ireland began coordinating other groups to get involved next week, including Dublin City council and local JCI groups.

“JCI Ireland and Let’s Do It foundation have partnered to raise awareness and implement lasting changes to end the waste epidemic in Ireland,” JCI Ireland president Laura Enache said. 

We need to ring the alarm bells as each and every one of us is accountable for protecting the future and the environment in our country. 

“We are putting a national call to action for community organisations, citizens, businesses, [and] government to join this nationwide movement.” 

Dublin City Council has said it will support the World Cleanup Day by providing equipment to local community groups and collecting refuse bags after the cleanup. 

“Communities throughout Dublin regularly arrange cleanup days in their areas with great results and Saturday 15 September will mark an extra special such occassion when World Cleanup Day takes place,” Dublin Lord Mayor Nial Ring said. 

On this day global communities will be united in getting out and cleaning up their areas. 

“Dublin will be no exception and I would encourage all of our great community-based cleanup activists to partake in this unique event, the benefits of which are our local areas, the environment and ultimately our plant,” he said. 

Speaking of the longterm impact she wishes the events next weekend will have, Henry said her hope is that when people turn out to clean up “they will see rubbish they didn’t see before”. 

“The problem is trash blindness,” she said. 

We don’t even realise what rubbish is there until we go and clean up and realise how much there is. Once people see something they can’t unsee it. 

“When they see it and they get a good feeling of taking action then they’ll tell their friends, that’s what I want from it.” 

More information about how to take part in World Cleanup Day in Ireland can be found here

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