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Messy revellers leave 20 tonnes of city litter

ALMOST 100 Dublin City Council workers toiled into the night to clean up the city's streets after St Patrick's Day celebrations -- as festival-goers left 20 tonnes of rubbish behind.

An estimated 675,000 people lined the streets of Dublin for the annual parade, and it took council workers three hours to completely clear the mess on O'Connell Street alone.

Sean Purcell, senior executive officer of Dublin City Council's waste management area, said crews worked around the clock to cope with one of the biggest days of the year for waste management.

Some 92 workers focused solely on the central areas, falling between Parnell Square and St Stephen's Green, all day on Wednesday -- with 42 working on the north side, and 50 on the south side of the city.

Food wrappers, beer cans and bottles lay strewn across the city's main thoroughfares as festival-goers dumped their rubbish.

"We deployed an extra 25 people from the outlying suburbs to clean up the city centre, and they were supplementing the usual crew," said Mr Purcell.


The council crews blitzed O'Connell Street between 2pm and 5pm on Wednesday, including sweeping its footpaths when crowds began to move away. The workers later moved on to Grafton Street and Temple Bar as the clean-up continued into the early hours of Thursday.

During the night, broken glass, vomit and fast-food wrappers littered Temple Bar's streets, as young partygoers dressed in green stumbled out of the late bars. Mr Purcell said: "We had a crew from 10pm to 6am to do Temple Bar and the cleaning and washing around the city."

Up to 50 waste barrels were put around the Temple Bar area for the dumping of bottles and other rubbish, and to prevent glass bottles being used as missiles.

"We had three extra bin trucks yesterday to empty the barrels of waste. And between these trucks and the compactors in the city depots, there was 20 tonnes of rubbish."

Mr Purcell added that the city was spick and span again by 8pm on Thursday -- and the next big event for the service would be the Women's Mini Marathon in June.