The low number of bins at many parks and waterways across Ireland is no excuse for failing to clean up after yourself, according to a Green Party Councillor.
On Lunchtime Live this morning, South East Inner City Cllr Claire Byrne said the coronavirus pandemic has ‘significantly increased’ the litter problem in the city.
“It is quite depressing to see the images all over social media and in the newspapers at the moment,” she said.
“I mean, litter isn’t anything new in the city, especially in the summer months but the pandemic has definitely increased it – and significantly increased it.
“It started with the gloves and the masks but now because it has forced us outside, we have seen a huge increase in our takeaway culture so now we are seeing lots of food and drink containers and they are really the big problem now and they are very visible in our parks and along the canals and other key places where people are gathering at the moment.”
Sometimes you despair at lack of civic pride in Ireland. Scene at park next to River Dodder in Milltown earlier pic.twitter.com/v79IAYxmbR
— Seán McCárthaigh (@seanmccarthaigh) March 30, 2021
She said bins are “definitely part of the problem” but noted that people have a responsibility to be “sound citizens.”
“There is always a bin around somewhere so there is really never any excuse for just standing up and walking away from waste that you have created,” she said.
“So, I am very much of the attitude of pick it up after yourself, unless you are a very small child of physically incapable.
“Just kind of be a sound citizen and clean up after yourself like, if you can’t find a bin, then take it home because it is your waste and it is not really someone else’s responsibility.”
She said she has been getting a lot of complaints about the problem in recent months.
“It is not just in the parks; it is along the canals and other waterways as well because people are gathering because there is nowhere else to go,” she said.
“That is fine but it doesn’t take away from that level of personal responsibility. That is fine that you can do that but it isn’t an excuse for you to just trash the place as well.”
Also on the show, Galway Councillor Eddie Hoare said the pandemic has definitely increased the problem – but noted that there are some areas in the city that have always had a litter issue.
“It is the case year-on-year, COVID or no COVD where you can guarantee Spanish Arch and other locations along our canals will be left with traces of litter right throughout,” he said.
In Cork meanwhile, Cork City North East Cllr Oliver Moran said the council is installing more bins at the Glen River Park – but said people have to take personal responsibility.
“It is not rocket science to tell people that if you take something with you to a park, take it home with you as well,” he said.
“You see people leaving coffee cups, almost reaching up high to place them in a tree or discreetly on a wall – everybody knows that’s wrong.
“Everybody knows that is littering. Just because you put it somewhere you think it is more neat and tidy than just throwing it into the river, that doesn’t make it any better, it is still littering.”