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Word of Pure Mile’s success spreads as groups outside of Wicklow express an interest in registering

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Dumping in the Wicklow uplands.

Dumping in the Wicklow uplands.

Illegal waste dumped in a woodland setting.

Illegal waste dumped in a woodland setting.

The Pure Mile Glencree Walking Group.

The Pure Mile Glencree Walking Group.

The Pure Truck clearing up some rubbish.

The Pure Truck clearing up some rubbish.

The Pure mile Trekkers Walking Group.

The Pure mile Trekkers Walking Group.

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Dumping in the Wicklow uplands.

wicklowpeople

AFTER helping communities collect more than 3,000 bags of litter from Wicklow’s uplands since January, words of the Pure Mile project’s success has spread and now groups from across Ireland want to be involved.

The Pure Mile encourages communities to adopt a mile-long stretch in their area and work to keep it litter free. Over the same time the Pure Truck has removed over 75 tonnes, 75,000kg, of illegal dumping and rubbish, a considerable amount of which was collected by Pure Mile volunteers.

There are now over 800 miles or roads, mountains, woodlands, valleys, forestries, and upland amenities, signed up to the 2022 Pure Mile Project, the largest number ever since the project began in 2010.

Word of the success of the project has spread, with groups from across the country expressing an interest in taking part.

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Ian Davis, Pure Project Manager, said: “We experienced some large scale dumping in areas during March and April, but we have so many groups and businesses registering with us, we now have thousands of volunteers on the ground.

“We have had groups contacting us from west Cork, Cork itself, Kerry, Carlow, Kildare and Wexford looking to get involved. We are only open to groups in the Wicklow and Dublin uplands, but it demonstrates how word of the project is spreading. People from elsewhere are hearing about our success. We put a lot of our activities up on digital and social media to recognise and congratulate Pure Mile volunteers on the great work they do.”

More than 1,000 litter picks and clean-ups, undertaken by Pure Mile Groups have already taken place this year. In one incident a recent clean-up by Pure Mile groups resulted in the collection of over 100 bags of rubbish from just one area.

Other discarded material included, tyres, batteries, mattresses, radios, hovers, TV’s, cables, piping, furniture, chairs, bedframes, building materials, toys, prams, suitcases, buckets, bikes, and much more, with each Pure Mile clean-up making a huge difference to the Wicklow/Dublin environment.

The reopening of society after the removal of Covid restrictions allows for more visitors to the Uplands, but Ian hasn’t noticed any evident increase in dumping.

“We log and record everything but we haven’t noticed any massive increase. Since we first launched in 2006, I’d say there has been a 50 per cent reduction in dumping. We have so many groups involved in the Pure Mile now it would be easier for me to name the roads not involved rather than the ones that are part of the Pure Mile,” he said.

Pure Mile groups are also contacting Pure to report illegal dumping sites that they locate on the landscape during their litter picks.

Pure have also been working with walking groups, hiking groups, cycling groups and businesses, who have adopted areas in the Wicklow Mountains National Park located in the South Dublin Uplands. A number of litter picks and clean-ups have already taking place this year and the groups are transforming this environmentally sensitive area, an area which attracts thousands of visitors annually.

Ian added: “The Pure Mile was established in 2010 and the project has grown from 5 miles to over 800 miles. With Covid-19 we saw an increase in people reconnecting with the area they live in, walking their local roads, rediscovering their natural environment, and becoming aware of the amount of litter and rubbish on roadside verges, hedges, and drains.

“This increased registration to the Pure Mile Project and a considerable number of these Pure Mile groups have continued with the project and they are now contacting us every day to organise litter picks and clean-ups. The Pure Truck has been extremely busy collecting the rubbish on a daily basis, ensuring that no bags are left on the landscape. It’s amazing the amount of litter and rubbish the Pure Mile Volunteers are removing, and I would like to thank all of them and congratulate them for their dedication in Cleaning Up The Wicklow/Dublin Uplands.”

Pure are continuing to support all of the Pure Mile Groups with further litter picks, clean-ups, anti-dumping initiatives, community projects, biodiversity and heritage projects, which are ongoing throughout the year.

All groups are provided with Pure Mile signage, Pure Mile bags, Pure Mile high-vis vests, gloves, litter pickers, and the Pure Truck removes all of the rubbish collected by the groups.


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