The Waterford Schools Litter Challenge, sponsored by Tom Murphy Car Sales Volkswagen, in association with Waterford City and County Council and Waterford Chamber is now underway.
Now in its third year, 11 schools from Waterford city and county have taken up the litter challenge. The competition, which runs for eight weeks, encourages secondary schools to keep a designated local area litter free. The students will carry out regular litter picking and identify black spots for litter in their area. They will also learn about the sources of litter, and about the benefits of reusing and recycling items.
Waterford City and County Council has provided bags, gloves, litter pickers and high visibility vests to all schools and Tom Murphy Car Sales Volkswagen has sponsored the €1,500 prize for the winning school.
Mayor of Waterford City and County, Cllr. Joe Conway has said, “I feel great admiration for these young people. We are all aware of the environmental dangers that litter creates but deciding to be part of the solution takes real commitment.
“It’s fantastic to see them all stepping up to the challenge and tackling the problem. Hopefully their actions will also encourage others to act more responsibly and dispose of their litter properly.”
The mayor added, “Initiative like these couldn’t take place without the support of local businesses. Tom and the team at Tom Murphy Car Sales Volkswagen have been wonderful advocates of making Waterford the best place to live and work in. Their support of initiatives such as the Litter Challenge has been long-term and constant, and it really does help encourage a cleaner, greener Waterford.”
Tom Murphy, sponsor of the competition prize money for the third year, echoed the mayor’s sentiments, “We are proud to support this initiative, which improves the environment and builds a sense of pride in local communities. Last year, I noticed a definite drop in the amount of litter I saw after the challenge began.
“I’d like to thank all the participating schools for their entry into this year’s challenge and wish them the best of luck with their clean-up activities.”
Last year’s winning school was Blackwater Community School in Lismore, with both St. Augustine’s College, Dungarvan and the Mercy Secondary School, Waterford, highly commended for their endeavours.
Ella Ryan, Environmental Awareness Officer with Waterford City and County Council commented, “The secondary schools that took part in the challenge last year really enjoyed getting out in their local neighbourhoods and helping make them cleaner places.
“Their efforts were much appreciated by their communities, who noticed a real difference. I’d also like to acknowledge the work and encouragement of their teachers; we couldn’t run this challenge without their support.”
The competition will run until December 5th when Mayor Conway will announce the winning school.