Cllr Joanna Byrne: ‘Greening The Fleadh’

Sinn Féin Councillor Joanna Byrne tabled a motion at the June County Council meeting calling for the collection of plastics from the bring bank centres in the county to be re-introduced for the duration of the Fleadh and requested this include the wider parts of the County that will or may be facilitating visitors for the period.

Cllr Byrne has been a champion on this issue and very vocal on the axing of collections of plastic’s from the bring banks. She tabled an emergency motion at the time calling for the original decision to cease plastics collections to be reversed. The Chief Executive refused to reverse the decision despite Cllr Byrne’s motion being supported by all cross-party councillors. She promised at the time that she would not let this issue drop.

Cllr Byrne said “With licensed premises and restaurants set to distribute plastic glasses and containers in the thousands, and litter already plaguing the town, I have my reservations that our current litter collections will be able to facilitate this waste collection.”

Although Cllr Byrne’s motion was passed without any opposition, she was told that the collection of plastic’s from the bring bank facilities could not be facilitated in the way suggested as to do so would require changes in the current infrastructure and amendments to the service contract currently in place.

However, Paddy Donnelly did re-assure Cllr Byrne that a specific ‘Greening the Fleadh’ initiative had already been established. A Committee has been set up – led and chaired by LCC Environment Awareness team, including staff from Enforcement Section, the Energy Office and other stakeholders such as the Drogheda Tidy Towns Group, V&W recycling centre and Endavar, who all also have reps on the committee.

The purpose of this initiative is to manage waste collection and put an emphasis on recycling and the use of biodegradable cups and packaging on take away foods. The intention of this committee is to increase awareness and to bid in 2019 for Festival Green flag status.

Cllr Byrne welcomed this initiative saying “I am pleased to see the commitment and drive shown by Louth County Council in regards to this issue. In my opinion the axing of the collection of plastics was always a disservice to the people of this county and I had major worries as to where this plastic waste would have ended up. I warmly welcome the ‘Greening The Fleadh’ initiative and hopefully its goals come to fruition and it provides an adequate service in regards to recycling and waste management. I will be monitoring it closely throughout the period of the Fleadh and will have no hesitation calling for changes if I don’t deem it satisfactory.”