Dodder Action Day

Pictured: Ulla Dawidowska and Victoria White with just some of the bottles and cans that were collected.
Photo courtesy John Stanton.

This year’s Dodder Action Day has been another great success. Dodder Action, along with a bevy of volunteers, has lived up to its reliable and hard-working reputation yet again by collecting and recycling an astonishing 2,500 bottles and cans. They were collected on the 4.5-kilometre stretch from Rathfarnham bridge to Donnybrook bridge. That’s a can or bottle every 1.8 metres or 6 feet.

On Saturday, April 22nd at 11am, volunteers met at Herbert Park, Donnybrook, Clonskeagh, Milltown, Orwell, Rathfarnham and further afield. The day was not just about clean-up crews but an opportunity to demonstrate that it is possible to have a united river community, which was the theme of The Dodder Gathering at Herbert Park earlier in the month.

This is the fifth year that the clean-up day has been operating, and while the environment surrounding the river has improved, still not enough is being done to combat the litter that is obstructing weirs and burdening river banks.

Victoria White, Chair of Dodder Action, has had enough and is calling on government bodies to implement a cash incentive on deposited bottles and cans.

White emphasised: “Fifty to ninety percent of the litter collected is plastic bottles and cans. We don’t see any other way to deal with the problem and to encourage litter-picking. We want to get other environmental organisations involved in the campaign for refunds on deposits and make a formal pitch to the Seanad.”

Similar cash for cans schemes operate with huge success in other countries. In Iceland, 90 percent of aluminium cans and 87 percent of plastic bottles are recycled. This year, Dodder Action paid a small deposit to the scout groups for the bottles and cans they collected to encourage the idea.

A special mention must be made for the hard work of Donnybrook Scouts, who collected 670 pieces of litter! Leeson Park and Sandyford troops were also hard at work.

By Jessica Ellis