IN a first for Mallow, people served with Community Service Orders have been put to work cleaning up a litter blackspot on the outskirts of the town.
The trio of workers were among a group that began picking litter from a country laneway on the Charleville side of the town last Monday - collecting almost half a ton of rubbish in three hours.
They were taking part in a scheme operated by the Probation Service in conjunction with Cork County Council, Mallow Town Council and Mallow Tidy Towns.
County council spokesman Stephen O'Sullivan said the initiative had proven such a success they were hoping it would be used in other areas across North Cork in the future.
"The secluded laneway in question had become something of a magnet for people discriminately dumping all kinds of rubbish. We found domestic waste, dirty nappies, electrical goods and even dead animals during the clean up," said Stephen.
"The difference that the group made to the area in just a few hours was amazing," he added.
Stephen said that the laneway had traditionally been used as a walkway for local people. However, the sheer amount of rubbish being dumped there had turned many people off using it.
"Over the coming days we will be finishing the clean up and cutting back bushes with the aim of encouraging walkers to use it again," he said.
Stephen also had a word of warning for those who might consider dumping their rubbish along the lane once the clean up has been completed.
"We are monitoring the area and have made a couple of detections that may end up in prosecutions through the District Court," he said.
"We will also be installing mobile cameras, which are almost impossible to detect, along the lane. A lot of hard work has gone into cleaning up this site and we want to ensure that it remains clean and safe for walkers," added Stephen.