“Do your bit for the county – pick up as you go” – Minister Troy
The amount of litter and debris across greenspaces of Westmeath appears to have increased in recent times. I am calling on locals to pick up litter they see when they are exercising in their localities.
“Over the past number of weeks, while out running or walking in my 5km, I’ve noticed the amount of litter and rubbish strewn around our green spaces has increased significantly. To combat this while walking I’ve taken to bringing a small bag and picker to collect what litter I can carry and use that as my exercise for the day. But I’m just one person.
“I realised there could be a better way to collectively clean up the rubbish and foster a bit of community spirit at the same time – particularly when we need it most. As more and more people exercise solo or in their support bubble by walking around their 5km, it would be of huge benefit to everyone if we each pick up just one piece of litter as we walk or run. The benefits of exercising particularly given the current climate are huge – physically and mentally – and what an even greater benefit it would be if our natural, green spaces remained just that. Westmeath Co. Council can supply the necessary equipment and my office would happily arrange same.”
I have written to my party colleague and Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD, to see if funding could be allocated to support and incentivise local residents to clean up while they are out walking in their 5km.
“I have posed the idea of allocating funding to Local Authorities nationwide. What I envisage is a scheme that would support local area clean-ups, with additional funding available to each local authority to provide the necessary equipment, such as pickers, gloves, hi-vis shirts and refuse bags, to community groups and a scheme created whereby communities are incentivised to clean their local area. This would be done in strict compliance with public health guidance with people involved doing so as they exercise on their own or in their support pod. An award of €1000 grant would go to the local community group who collected the most rubbish in a given month. I have written to Minister O’Brien and will be speaking with him in the coming week so I am hopeful this can be progressed”
“In the meantime, I am encouraging everyone to pick up rubbish they see when out on the walk or run – and remember do so safely and in compliance with public health guidance.”