We were blessed with glorious sunshine today. A lot of volunteers turned up and we had 2 boats on the canal collecting rubbish from the water, thanks to Pat and Dan .
We organised teams who took care of different sections of the canal bank, and everything worked out wonders. We met at 12pm and a few groups started straight away. A small group lead by Arthur went to work around the boat house, where they had spotted a lot of rubbish.
But people continued to arrive for the next hour or so, and we distributed bags, gloves and pickers and directed them toward the areas that needed more attention.
Tires were pulled out of the canal by the boats, and we were astonished to find so many tires that ended up in the canal. Someone solved the mystery – actually the canal bank was reinforced with tires when it was done up back in 2005-2006. They’re now becoming loose and some of them are ending in the canal.
A microwave and a bicycle were pulled out of the water, and a toilet seat was found on the canal bank. Tim and his three little daughters joined in, and with their united forces they were able to pull out a truck tire from the ditch between the foot path and Richmond RFC.
Mary from Wildroutes took photos of some of the odd objects that herself, Pat and Joan Lysaght pulled out of the canal: a TV set, a CD folder, a supermarket trolley and so on. You can admire them on our Facebook page.
More photos from today are available here.
A lot of walkers passed by. Some of them avoided eye contact; some others had a word of appreciation. A fisherman who found himself surrounded by volunteers left his angles and piled the rubbish that he could find around him for the volunteers to collect it. A man we stopped asking if he saw any volunteers at work on the northern side of the canal asked to join. We tried to give him a flyer so that he can join next time, but he replied “I want to help now!” He took on the wheelbarrow and didn’t stop until all the rubbish bags were back at Richmond RFC. We found out that he is originally from Bulgaria.
A group from Transition Limerick joined, and they have done an absolutely fantastic job! Carla helped collecting the bags from the northern side of the canal with her van and brought them back to Richmond as well.
We had staff and students from UL, Susan from the Adult Education College, people of different nationalities, backgrounds and paths of life. None of us actually likes picking up rubbish, and it would be fantastic if we could make a difference by convincing people to take their rubbish home and not having to pick it up ourselves. Rubbish bins would probably make a difference if placed on the canal and river bank. In the mean time, those who really care about the river and canal banks- like Cait or Joan- pick up rubbish every day when they are out walking. Fair play to them!
We had 35 people out caring for the canal bank out today. Thank you very much for giving up your Sunday time to help a good cause! We were all proud to see how good the canal bank showed afterwards (although there are a few points where we need to go back).
We are extremely grateful to Limerick City& County Council – and especially to Sinead McDonnell, the Environmental Officer, for providing us with bags, gloves and pickers and for organising the rubbish collection on Monday.
We would also like to thank to the nice people at Richmond RFC for hosting our tea&coffee&chat at the end of the activity!