The parish of Killymard is certainly looking spick and span after a number of recent spring clean initiatives.
The first of these was a major parish clean-up. Volunteers met at St Mary’s Church and were each allocated an area. Between them, they filled a trailer with rubbish ranging from small bits of litter to larger illegally dumped items.
It was a beautiful day and those taking part said they enjoyed coming out and doing the spring clean.
The rubbish was taken away by Donegal County Council.
The next clean-up was led by the pupils of Scoil an Linbh Íosa. With a strong track record in environmental awareness, biodiversity and waste management, pupils are working towards their next Green Flag. The theme is Global Citizenship in the area of Litter and Waste.
More than 100 pupils, families and staff came together at the Holmes Beach for the clean-up last Wednesday evening. At first glance the beach seemed relatively clean. But after a very productive hour they had filled dozens of bags. The rubbish was mainly plastic waste and pupils also recovered larger items such as tyres.
Last week also saw the culmination of a bigger ongoing project to collect plastic bottle tops which will be recycled into items such as outdoor furniture.
The driving force behind this initiative is parent Sharon Herron who is working closely with the school’s Green Schools co-ordinator Berni Canny. Pupils, families and many members of the community have been gathering bottles tops over the last year.
This higher grade plastic is more suitable for recycling into durable plastic goods such as picnic tables and buddy benches.
Johnny Hall from Newry visited the area last week to collect the plastic. Mr Hall travels across Ulster and beyond, gathering this type of waste and storing it until he has enough to fill a lorry container. Only in such large quantities will the factory accept the bottle tops.
And while the bottle tops do not have a huge financial value, Mr Hall gets around STG£400 per lorryload, all of which goes to nominated charities.
This is his second visit to Scoil an Linbh Íosa to collect bottles tops. Money raised from the tops gathered on his last visit helped support Breast Cancer Research, Water Aid and the NSPCC. Mr Hall told the pupils of Scoil an Linbh Íosa on that occasion that he was open to suggestions for beneficiaries. On his most recent visit, Mrs Herron proposed that money go to Donegal Hospice and Relay For Life Donegal.
The bottle tops Mr Hall collected in Donegal Town and from supporters in other areas including Letterkenny and Ramelton filled a large van and a horse box trailer. These will go a long way towards filling the required lorry trailer.
Mr Hall is very grateful to the Scoil an Linbh Íosa community and to everyone who contributed to the bottle top collection.
Not only will this initiative support worthy charities, it guarantees that the bottle tops will not end up in landfill. Nor will these or the many other items of rubbish gathered in Killymard make their way into the sea.
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