Join the Cleanup Crew

Join the cleanup crew (1)

Following the storms of early January, many stretches of the coast were littered with rubbish washed in from the sea. Particularly badly hit was the stretch of beach around the Poolbeg towers.

With Dublin City Council’s resources over-stretched by the impact of the storms, a group of local volunteers, led by Sandymount resident Catherine Devitt, rolled up their sleeves, donned rubber gloves and stepped in to clean up the beach.

The raging storms of January 5th and 6th left the beach in a sorry state so, on Tuesday 7th Devitt resolved to improve the situation. “Originally there were just two of us but a third lady, who isn’t from the area but regularly walks along that stretch, joined in once she saw what we were doing,” Devitt tells NewsFour.

The efforts of Devitt and her crew didn’t go unnoticed by passersby. “People stopped and commented on the rubbish and how much of an eyesore it was,” says Devitt. “A lot of people came up to us and said they were regular users of the area, lots of dog walkers, and told us they’d be willing to meet up once a month for a cleanup session.”

The council were also impressed by, and extremely grateful for, the work of Devitt and her colleagues, and disposed of the 30 refuse sacks the crew had filled. “The council said they had resource issues and were limited on what they could do in terms of keeping the area clean, especially after a storm when there’s a lot of rubbish regurgitated up from the sea,” she says. “While we were working on our area, they were busy cleaning up the rubble along the Sean Moore Park stretch.”

Plastic bottles accounted for most of the rubbish cleared from the area. “We’re all very reliant on plastic and so much of it does end up in the sea,” Devitt says. Some of the rubbish collected was less predictable (fire extinguishers, hair brushes, clothes) while some constituted a disturbing health risk (lots of syringes, even sanitary towels).

Devitt has now established a group and plans to hold a cleanup session on the first Saturday of every month, between 11am and 1pm.

Above: Debris along the coast. Photo courtesy Catherine Devitt.

By Eric Hillis

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