Cashel is moving towards a cleaner, greener future as it begins the process of becoming Ireland’s first zero waste town.
‘Towards Zero Waste Cashel’ is an 18-month pilot initiative which promotes reducing waste and repairing and repurposing items, and was officially launched last week at the historic Rock of Cashel.
Led by environmental charity VOICE, funded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and supported by the Southern Region Waste Management Office (SRWMO) and Tipperary County Council, this pioneering new project aims to take a typical Irish town on a journey of change.
“The success of the project will depend on a lot of changes - changes in everyday practices, behaviours and indeed attitudes towards waste,” explained Pauline McDonogh, waste prevention officer with the SRWMO.
Towards Zero Waste Cashel’ will include the introduction of a number of local projects that will encourage a change in behaviour when it comes to dealing with waste.
“These projects include making people more aware of the proper segregation of waste; reducing the amount of single use items in the community; promoting repair of goods, upcycling, vintage, charity shops, car boot sales and second hand markets.”
Newly appointed ‘Towards Zero Waste Cashel Project’ manager, Derry O’Donnell, said he was excited about the challenges and opportunities ahead.
“There are many unique enterprise opportunities in a zero waste environment. We have seen how people can create unique pieces of furniture and other items when they begin to look at objects destined for landfill in a new light. There is so much that can be done with waste when we start exploring new ideas,” Derry continued.
VOICE coordinator, Mindy O'Brien, said the initiative is also about changing people's habits and attitudes. “That could be our biggest challenge. For example, changing our views on single use non recyclable containers, such as our take away coffee cup or the plastic spoon we use just once to stir our tea,” she noted.
Deputy director general of the EPA, Dara Lynott, added: “The EPA is proud to support this initiative which we believe will become a blueprint for sustainable towns and communities right across the country.”