Tinahely Community Area Projects was the winner of the Environmental Education and Awareness Initiative category at the Pakman Awards 2021.
The Pakman Awards, powered by Repak, are the national environmental awards that recognise excellence in sustainability, recycling and waste management among businesses, organisations, community groups and individuals in Ireland.
Tinahely Community Area Projects (TCP) is a volunteer-led community organisation that both educates and increases awareness of the importance of recycling. It has constructed a purpose-built facility that can now sort, store and transport materials for recycling and it also acts as a community resource for educating and supporting residents in protecting the environment.
The recycling centre has been operating for more than a decade and is staffed by Community Employment participants. It is one of the many projects that TCP has brought to fruition in the area.
These include over 40km of walks, a multi-use games area, a children’s playground, a picnic area, and tinahely.ie. TCP is the umbrella group for Tidy Towns and Christmas Lights.
TCP also piloted the River Derry Bubbles Project, an environmental programme designed and delivered by Rubalcava Heritage Services, with the help of Wicklow Partnership and LEADER. Children in the local schools learned the importance of protecting their catchment area.
The recycling centre recently moved to a purpose-built unit on School Road in Tinahely and this has been instrumental in improving the access to a convenient recycling facility. TCP is grateful to Wicklow County Council for their continuing support in delivering this essential service to the community.
It has become such an important part of the community that educational visits are part of the local schools’ programmes. The children are educated from an early age about how to reduce, reuse and recycle.
Councillor John Mullen said: “Tinahely has always punched above its weight and the efforts of the whole community are reflected in this national award.”
Spokesperson for TCP, Tina Christiansen said: “TCP is thrilled to receive the award on behalf of the community and especially for the dedicated CE staff who are so helpful. It demonstrates that we may be a very small community but we appreciate our responsibility on a global scale.”
Tinahely Community Area Projects overcame Clean Coasts and Swords Tidy Towns to win the Environmental Education and Awareness Initiative.
Irish Packaging Recycling won the Overall Pakman Award 2021 for its outstanding work helping Ireland increase its waste recovery rates.
Speaking at the Awards, Minister of State with Special Responsibility for Communications and Circular Economy, Ossian Smyth TD said: “The Pakman Awards is a magnificent opportunity to recognise organisations across the waste and other business sectors who have taken the initiative to play their part in developing Ireland’s circular economy. I congratulate each of the winners and all those who entered the 2021 awards.”
Séamus Clancy, CEO of Repak said: “The Pakman Awards acknowledge our environmental champions nationwide that excel in prevention, recycling, reuse, reduction, biodiversity, innovation and education in all aspects of our everyday lives.
“I would like to congratulate all the winners and nominees for their work.”