Martin Roarty, Litter Warden, Letterkenny Municipal District
There’s no let up in Donegal County Council’s campaign in the war against litter and one of the men on the front line is litter warden, Martin Roarty.
He is responsible for covering a huge district which takes in the old Letterkenny and Milford electoral areas in what is now the new Letterkenny Municipal District.
With its huge urban-rural dynamic it presents quite a lot of challenges but Martin can see progress and judging by the response to the Big Donegal Clean Up campaign in April, he is confident people are keen to make sure their areas are kept clean.
“I’ve had almost 40 groups looking for assistance looking for everything from skips to clean up packs as well as more calls than ever to our mobile clean up units to come along and collect the fruits of their labour.”
The objectives of the clean up campaign are to reduce litter pollution and to encourage community involvement in the solutions.
“There’s been a noticeable increase in the number of community groups taking part and it’s good to see that people want to keep their areas clean.
“Dog fouling is an ongoing challenge that needs to be tackled but perhaps the most frustrating thing is when you go to collect bags at an illegal dump you discover there’s very little of it what you would call household refuse; most of it is cans and bottles that could have easily been disposed at one of over 50 bottle and can banks scattered throughout the county,” he says.
Martin is very appreciative of the co-operation he receives from the many community groups, tidy town committees, Coillte and Community Employment scheme workers throughout the area.
“They are a major asset in the fight against litter. CE Schemes in places like Rathmullan, Ramelton, Kerrykeel and Milford for example are doing trojan work and you just have to look at the finished product to see what an important contribution they make.”
Martin’s work also covers Letterkenny and he is very happy to be well supported in the Cathedral town by the likes of John McCandless and Noel O’Donnell who help coordinate and collect in a number of areas.
Coming into the summer months Martin and his colleagues throughout the county are aware of the importance of making sure Donegal’s pristine Blue Flag beaches and the routes along the Wild Atlantic Way are maintained rubbish-free.
“The Blue Flag beaches and the Wild Atlantic Way are important and tell visitors a lot about who we are. Let’s make sure they get the right impression,” he adds.
Donegal County Council’s Director of Water and Environment, Joe Peoples, praised the efforts of Martin, his colleagues and indeed all groups saying their help was invaluable.
“Their continued efforts certainly go a long way to help keeping our county in pristine condition particularly as we welcome visitors from all around the world and want to reassure the public that the council is committed to re-doubling its effort in the pursuit of those who are responsible for littering our county,” he says.
- If you want to make a complaint about illegal dumping or litter in your area call the Council on (074) 9153900 and this will be investigated.
- You can also make a complaint out of hours by calling the EPA Hotline Dump the Dumpers 1850 365 121 or online at donegalcoco.ie.
- The Council has a team of 5 Litter Wardens and three mobile litter units who work with the public and local communities to keep Donegal litter free.
- If you are caught dumping rubbish you could face a Fixed Penalty Notice of €150 or prosecution through the courts.
- The Council has been active in prosecuting those responsible for littering and illegal dumping and in 2014 issued 166 fines and 9 cases are currently before the courts.
- See more http://www.donegalcoco.ie