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Traders encouraged to ‘adopt a spot’ under new Tidy Towns initiative


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Traders encouraged to ‘adopt a spot’ under new Tidy Towns initiative Traders encouraged to ‘adopt a spot’ under new Tidy Towns initiative

From the Galway City Tribune – Businesses in the city are being encouraged to keep their premises and surrounds in pristine condition as part of a Galway City Tidy Towns initiative.

The group launched their ‘Adopt a Spot’ campaign this week and as part of that, they have called on business proprietors to “look after their premises and the City Council will do the rest”.

This is in conjunction with asking community groups, residents’ associations and business groups to identify a ‘spot’ – whether that’s a street, a park or a beach – where they will carry out regular clean-ups.

Chairperson of Galway City Tidy Towns, Níall McNelis, said those carrying out these clean-ups could register with the City Council to receive the necessary materials, and have the collected rubbish picked up by the local authority.

“For the businesses, if everyone signs up to pick up the coffee cups, cigarette butts and litter outside their premises, take out the weeds and keep the area around them clean, it would make a huge difference – and it will also show up those who aren’t doing it, he said.

“We have had big buy in from all the local business groups – Galway Chamber, the Latin Quarter, West End Traders, Eyre Square Traders and Woodquay businesses – all taking part,” said Cllr McNelis.

The recently formed Eyre Square Traders brought together a group of 40 last weekend to tidy the area and “it has never looked as well”, he added.

Voluntary groups could take up the baton for side streets and other areas used by the public, he added, and the Council’s crew would get the rest. Large employers in the town were also being encouraged to take part as part of their corporate social responsibility.

“If we can also encourage the public to use one of the 88 bins in the city centre, and to bring their rubbish to another bin if they find one full – or bring their rubbish home – we will have begun the big task of keeping Galway City clean.

“We all have a role to play. There are also issues with the presentation of waste, with birds picking through the bags when they’re left out on the street.

“We have to figure out a way of getting waste collected without contributing to the litter problem,” said Cllr McNelis, adding that discussions around this issue were ongoing.

The city was expending huge amounts on the control of waste, he said, and if there was a greater effort by the public, that money could be better spent enhancing the town.

“The Council spends €1.5 million annually on street cleaning. The crews were out all last weekend and really did a magnificent job under extreme pressure, particularly with the crowds that were out,” said Cllr McNelis.

“Businesses have a big role to play. We’ve been met with great enthusiasm by most of those we’ve approached and we need them all to get on board. Everybody benefits by keeping their premises clean – nobody wants to go into a business that looks terrible.”

Meanwhile, Cllr McNelis said the crowds in the city centre and Salthill highlighted the lack of proper public toilet facilities as he called for the installation of temporary facilities while a long-term solution was settled on.

“We have areas like Cappagh Park and Barna Woods where there are no toilet facilities. The playground in Salthill has nothing and the nearest toilet is in a private premises. It’s a problem that needs to be addressed.

“We need to look at our outdoor spaces all over the city which have had significant underinvestment for years,” he said.

(Photo: Representatives of business groups Galway Chamber, The Latin Quarter, the West End, Woodquay and Eyre Square Traders pictured for the launch of ‘Adopt a Spot’ as part of Galway City Tidy Towns working with the City Council).

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