April 2019 Clean Up Summaries
In April we held two clean ups and it was the first month ever that we have not held a clean up on a beach. Instead we traveled to Belfast and Carrickfergus to tackle to growing problem of litter in woodlands, parks and rivers. We met lots of new people, made some great new contacts and managed to remove 121 bags of litter, including our biggest ever haul at Glencairn in Belfast.
Bags removed - 76
Volunteers - 12
We returned to Glencairn almost a year after our first clean up, and found the rubbish overflowing from every bush, tree and stream. Within 30 minutes of starting the clean up we had a pile of 12 bags of rubbish and several other large items already stacked high and as the afternoon arrived we had our largest ever pile, 76 bags or large items collected and we barely scratched the surface. In just 3 hours our small group of 13 had managed to do so much, but the task of removing all litter is a job for 100 people or more. We ended up with 2 piles of litter at either end of the car park as you can see from the images below. The scale of the problem is unlike any area we have been before. The piles of fly tipped rubbish, the razor wire, the litter in every bush and tree and field. We did an incredible job, but the real work is now to continue the clean up and to start to push back against those who are dumping and littering on such a scary scale. We will be back before the end of the summer, and perhaps then we will clean half the park...
Bags Removed - 45
Volunteers - 16
Woodburn was our first clean up North of Belfast and we were very fortunate to have not only great weather, but lots of eager and welcoming volunteers to work along side. Many had great local knowledge of the litter issue in the forest and were a great asset to us. Within 20 minutes, and without leaving the car park we had 10 bags full of rubbish, by the end of the morning we had a pile of 45 bags, including 2 tarps, 3 parts of a car boot, a duvet, 100's of beer bottles and cans and 100's more dog poo bags. Someone even found an arrow amoung the trees. It was sad to see such a beautiful spot, so covered in litter, but now at least a small section of the forest is clean. We had great fun meeting so many new people and had several great discussions about expanding the project, covering new areas and the issues of plastic pollution all over Northern Ireland. We will be back again, and will be hosting more clean ups in the surrounding area in the future.
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