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Woman pays the consequences of illegal dumping

A woman was recently fined €150 by Waterford City and County Council for the illegal disposal of waste.

Following a dumping incident on the outskirts of Waterford City, evidence was recovered which identified the owner of the waste being a resident in the city.  This woman said she had paid a man who advertised on social media to take away her waste, saying “I paid a guy off Facebook, I didn’t think he’d just dump it.”

Niall Kane, Senior Executive Engineer, with the Environment Section of Waterford City and County Council said,

“Cases like this one, highlight the importance of only using permitted waste collectors.  People seeking to have waste removed should always check to make sure they have a waste collection permit.  This can be checked by visiting the National Waste Collection Permit office or by asking to see a copy of their permit.”

“People are responsible for their waste until it is accepted at a permitted facility and giving your waste to an inappropriate person can result, on summary prosecution, to a fine of up €5,000.”

Information about valid waste collection permit holders can be found at National Waste Collection Permit Office – Search Permits (nwcpo.ie)

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Public Notice: Playground Repairs

Brown Brothers Ltd, on behalf of Waterford City & County Council, will be completing repairs and replacements in Comeragh area Playgrounds over the next three weeks. The schedule is as follows:

  • Bunmahon: This week
  • Portlaw: Starting July 18th
  • Portlaw and Kilmacthomas : From tomorrow until Monday July 22nd
  • Modeligo: End of this week

Minor repairs will also occur in Stradbally and Rathgormack. Playgrounds will remain open where possible, but temporary closures of a day or two may be necessary.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

‘Not Stopping Now’ webinars

'Not Stopping Now'

The Climate Ambassador Programme, in collaboration with The Heritage Council and The Biodiversity Officer Network, is excited to bring you a new series of webinars designed to help you reconnect with nature. ‘Not Stopping Now’ will feature four engaging webinars, each focusing on a different aspect of our amazing biodiversity.

1.       July 24th: Pollinators with the National Biodiversity Data Centre. Register here.

2.       August 21st: Bats with Bat Conservation Ireland. Register here.

3.       September 18th: Birds with bird specialists. Register here.

4.       October 16th: Dark Skies with Dark Sky Ireland. Register here.

The sessions will showcase nature’s incredible ability to adapt, highlight innovative conservation efforts, and explore how we can all play a part in supporting these initiatives. Don’t miss out — reserve your spot below and be part of the journey towards a more resilient and vibrant natural world!

See you there,
The Climate Ambassador and Biodiversity Officer Networks

Works commence on new Tramore Skate Park

New Skate Park on the Prom in Tramore

Works will commence on the new Skate Park on the Prom in Tramore from Monday, July 22nd and will be completed within eight weeks.

The new skate park will consist of ramps, bowls and street plaza features that will make for a thrilling skateboarding experience for boarders of all abilities.

With some minor traffic disruptions expected along the Prom, Waterford City and County Council apologises for any inconvenience caused.

Waterford Council achieves NTA’s Smarter Travel Mark certification

Waterford City and County Council recently achieved the Transport for Ireland (TFI) ‘Smarter Travel Mark’ bronze certification.

The Smarter Travel Mark recognises a commitment to sustainable travel initiatives.  The programme works with large employers and campuses to implement workplace travel plans, including a package of measures to encourage people to walk, cycle, use public transport, or reduce trips. The benefits of these initiatives include reduced emissions, better health and wellbeing for staff members, a more active lifestyle, and a cleaner environment.

Working towards the award as a Local Authority comes with its own unique challenges and rewards, and Waterford City and County Council is proud to be one of only a small number of Local Authorities in the country to have achieved this mark of recognition.

Cian Gill, Climate Action Officer with Waterford City and County Council said,

“We’re pleased to recognise the work done by individuals across multiple departments making sustainable travel more practical for staff members.  This includes all who helped with the travel survey data, departments making electric bicycles available for use, creating spaces for bicycles to be safely stored, and providing showers for use by active travellers.  We’d also like to thank the staff who maintain and promote the Cycle to Work scheme and the Tax Saver Tickets, and give special mention to all who made the wonderful range of Bike Week events possible, as well as the City Cycling events for staff.”

Deputy Mayor of Waterford City and County Cllr. Adam Wyse added,

“I’d like to acknowledge the numerous Local Authority staff who have actively engaged with the various active travel programmes run by the Climate Action team over the last year and made great strides in highlighting the possibilities of behavioural change.  Everyone involved got into the spirit wholeheartedly and their contributions have played a massive part in Waterford City and County Council achieving this accreditation.

We have more miles to travel to achieve the silver standard, but I’m confident that with the guidance, advice, encouragement and more great initiatives from the Climate Action team that goal will be reached.”

ENDS

Free to use image – Patrick Browne
Photograph 1: (left to right at back, Lauren Walsh-Kett, Active Cities Officer, Barbera Stosic, Active Travel, Kieran Norris, NTA, Jemma Jacob, Road Safety Officer, left to right at front, Deputy Major Adam Wyse, Cian Gill, Climate Action Officer)

Waterford City retains title of Cleanest City in Ireland

In the most recent IBAL report, Waterford was classed as Cleaner than European Norms and was ranked 12th out of 40 town and cities surveyed. Ballybeg ranked 11th and was also classed as Cleaner than European Norms. 

The judges report noted that “Again our cleanest city, Waterford City has actually improved on its previously strong showings, with only one heavily littered site, beside Vee Car Park. It was particularly encouraging to see notable improvements at a couple of sites e.g. ‘Bring Facility’ at Tesco Ardkeen (very much deserving of the top litter grade) and the Miscellaneous Woodpecker Site was much improved but clearly requires constant monitoring.

Some sites deserve special mention, particularly with regards to the overall presentation and maintenance of same:  Viking Triangle / Museum Quarter was exceptionally good;  Broad Street / Barronstrand Street was attractively laid out with lovely seating, trees providing coverage for those looking for a place to sit in the shade and very good street furniture;  works continue apace at the beautiful People’s Park – it was excellent with regards to litter;  the residential area of Bowefield / Riverpark was spotless;  substantial works have taken place along Grattan Quay / approach from Greenway – the result is a lovely, welcoming route into the city.”

“Ballybeg has scored exceptionally well this time around – well done to all concerned.  With seven top ranking sites there are some which deserve a mention, particularly the Bring Facility at Tesco Ballybeg as this has regularly been a heavily littered site in previous surveys.  All approach roads presented well.  The residential areas of Ardmore Terrace and Clonard Park were both much better than previous IBAL surveys – this time around they just missed the top litter grade.”

Areas such as the People’s Park, Viking Triangle and the approach from the Greenway were regarded as excellent sites, were well presented and maintained, and a complete absence of litter was noted throughout.

Fergus Galvin, Director of Services with Waterford City and County Council said that Waterford’s achievement as Ireland’s Only Clean City was a great accolade for the city and one that has been achieved by the hard work of the community and staff alike.

“There has been great investment from local schools, voluntary committees and business communities and that commitment has resulted in Waterford topping the cleanest city table.”

“Environmental awareness initiatives such as the Anti-litter challenge for secondary schools, Tackling Single Use Plastics, Picker Pals, and the Gum Litter Task force have paid dividends, by not only helping keep public realm spaces spotless, but also instilling younger generations with a sense of pride in our place.”

The IBAL report noted that there was a near-30% fall in the prevalence of can-related litter since the previous survey. While plastic bottles were also less common than in any past survey, they remain the third most prevalent form of litter on our streets. “It’s early days and we’re still seeing too many plastic bottles on our streets, but we can expect further improvement as people become accustomed to the Deposit Return Scheme and the legacy non-returnable items are flushed out of the system. Ultimately, we should see can and plastic bottle litter disappear entirely”, says IBAL’s Conor Horgan.

ENDS

Anne Valley Walk – temporary closure

Anne Valley walk

Due to essential maintenance works, part of the Anne Valley Walk will be temporarily closed, Monday to Friday until the end of June.

Closure Details:

  • Closed Section: Main car park to Castle car park
  • Open Section: Castle car park to Annestown remains accessible

Closure Period: Monday to Friday until the end of June.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause, and thank you for your understanding.

People’s Park Fountain gets contemporary upgrade

The Fountain in the People’s Park was unveiled today (May 29th) by Mayor of Waterford City and County, Cllr. Joe Conway.

The new fountain, which has retained the shape and limestone capping of the previous fountain, consists of a 7-metre stainless steel spray ring with 88 individual water jets along with a dynamic colour change lighting display and a water filter system that can be monitored and accessed remotely.

Speaking at the unveiling, Mayor of Waterford City and County, Cllr. Joe Conway said, “This is a wonderful addition to the People’s Park, and I’m delighted that so many people will be able to enjoy the calming sound and relaxing ambience that the fountain brings to this space.

“For anyone taking a stroll in the park, having a bite of lunch outdoors or enjoying the play areas for children, the new fountain is sure to be a big draw.

“What was once marshland almost 170 years ago, is now a vibrant, green, biodiverse and family-friendly public space which is on all of our interests to enjoy, respect and preserve.”

In addition to the construction of the new fountain, the Carlisle Bridge which links the People’s Park to Waterford Court House across the River Pill was also reopened.  Carlisle Bridge dates back to 1857 when it was built to provide a pedestrian link between the Courthouse and the People’s Park. The bridge, which is a very earlier example of the use of reinforced concrete construction, was opened by the 7th Earl of Carlisle after whom it was named.

In recent years much of the original iron work and lattice work on the bridge had become heavily corroded and in late 2023 Waterford City and County Council appointed Cumnor Construction to undertake a refurbishment of the bridge, which included the replacement of corroded wrought iron work, a full back to bare metal stripping of the old paint and repainting in colours that would in keeping with those used during the Victorian period.

The bridge was refurbished at a cost of almost €200,000 which was largely funded by grant funding from the Department of Transport’s Bridge Rehabilitation Works Programme.

Commenting on the fountain works, Dawn Wallace, Environment Senior Executive Officer with Waterford City and County Council said, “We are delighted with the results.  The People’s Park is a wonderful public amenity that contains modern, accessible facilities such as the playground, playing pitch, skate park and adult gym, but what makes it particularly special is that it retains the history of the place.

“The bandstand has stood prominently in the heart of the 16-acre park since 1869 along with the Russian canons which were captured by the British Army at the Battle of Sebastopol in 1854.  These significant historical features are now complemented by the new upgraded fountain and refurbished pedestrian access bridge, which means there is something for everyone to enjoy in this expansive natural space.”

The overall cost of the fountain refurbishment was €160,000 and works were completed earlier this month by contractors Fountainworks of Navan with civil support works carried out by Liam Whelan Plant Hire of Dungarvan.

Biodiversity Week 2024

National Biodiversity Week is an annual celebration of wildlife and nature over 10-days of events nationwide. Waterford City & County Council are running several free guided wildlife walks & talks over the week along with supporting local community groups, Bealtaine Living Earth Festival and the promotion of partner events by environmental NGOs.

In Waterford this year, Waterford City & County Council will partner with a number of organisations throughout the week to explore the habitats of Dungarvan, Dunmore East and Clashmore, host online invasive species talks with the National Biodiversity Data Centre and support the work of local communities endeavouring to protect nature on their own doorstep. There are lots of ways to get involved through photography, participating in fieldtrips or attending family days across the county.

This is a great week to explore more of your local habitats and green spaces with an eye on wildlife. Check out some of the great events below and if you have any questions, feel free to ask the Biodiversity Officer, Marina Mulligan at mmulligan@waterfordcouncil.ie Biodiversity Week also runs in parallel with World Bee Day on 20th May, International Day for Biological Diversity on 22nd May and National Invasive Species WeekBiodiversity Week is funded by the National Parks & Wildlife Service and the Irish Environmental Network (IEN) are the body responsible for coordinating the event each year.

Follow along: As part of Biodiversity Week, a new Instagram account (waterford_biodiversity) for WCCC Biodiversity will kick off with new content and information on species, habitats and events weekly.


Events in Waterford include:

May 17th – Launch of the Biodiversity and Sustainability Forum by SETU (Registration now closed).

May 18th – Dungarvan Library Talk & Walk: The Wildlife of Dungarvan Harbour (Dungarvan Library & Harbour, 12 noon – 1.30 pm) and IWDG Whale Watching at Helvic Head (5 pm – 7 pm, book here). Native Woodland Trust Walk at Gracedieu Wood (10.30 am – 2 pm, book here). Nature Photography course (Clashmore event, info attached).

May 18thWaterford Gallery of Art: Drawing with Nature for National Drawing Day X Biodiversity Week (11 am – 1 pm, book here)

May 21st – Invasive Species for Community Groups (online, 7.30 pm – 8.30 pm, link to join in pdf)

May 22nd – Irish Wildlife Trust Bat Walk (8 pm – 10 pm, book here)

May 23rd – Scouts Talk & Walk: Coastal Species of Dunmore East (Dunmore Library, 7 pm – 8 pm)

May 24th – Tramore Eco Group X WCCC: Dunes Walk at Tramore Beach (Tramore Beach, 3 pm – 4.30 pm)

May 25th – Clashmore Community Council X WCCC: Biodiversity Walk of Clashmore (Clashmore Heritage Centre, 2.30 pm – 4 pm)

Plenty more events happening throughout the county organised by small community groups and volunteers! Schools who would like to engage with the Biodiversity Officer as a 40 minute online talk can do so over the course of the week by contacting mmulligan@waterfordcouncil.ie


Bealtaine Living Earth Festival

The 20th annual Bealtaine Living Earth Festival takes place from 18 – 26 May 2024 with events for adults, families and schools across the region.

There are over 20 free events across the region to celebrate biodiversity and natural heritage in the Southeast.

HighlightA special event about Bees and pollinators will take place next Sunday, May 19 at 3pm (the eve of International Bee Day) at St Patrick’s Gateway, Waterford featuring Eanna ní Lamhna and SETU horticulturalist Yvonne Grace.

More info & eventswww.livingearth.ie


Clashmore & Kinsalebeg Community Council

Clashmore and Kinsalebeg Community Council have organised a range of photography, biodiversity and birdwatching events over three days. Check out the pdf above.

Highlight: Nature Photography course on Saturday 18th May! Prep for your nature photo entries.


Biodiversity Photographer of the Year

The national Biodiversity Photographer of the Year competition is open to professional and amateur photographers under a number of categories with a deadline of May 31st to enter. Check out your local wildlife and habitats and submit your photos to be in with a chance to win a number of prizes with a top prize of €500 for the overall winner. This year also has a special Ocean Category to link in with Fair Seas campaign for marine protected areas in Ireland. Let’s get some Waterford photos in the mix!

Link: https://biodiversityweek.ie/photo-competitions/


Backyard Bioblitz

Take part in the Biodiversity Week Backyard Bioblitz 17th – 26th May 2023
Explore your local area to discover fabulous flora and fauna! Our ecologists and wildlife experts will identify it for you! Simply share it on Twitter or Instagram with #BackyardBioblitz. As a bonus, you’ll also be entered into the draw for a prize from the National Biodiversity Data Centre.

Link: https://biodiversityweek.ie/backyard-bioblitz/


Biodiversity Scavenger Hunt

Recommend your local school to take part in a 40-minute school scavenger hunt to discover species ‘In Our School Yard’ or ‘In Our School Garden’. Please share your results with the IEN and your local Biodiversity Officer.

Link: https://biodiversityweek.ie/biodiversity-scavenger-hunt/


Happy Biodiversity Week! Feel free to share widely and send photos of wildlife on to me during the week @waterford_biodiversity Instagram. You could feature on the new Biodiversity website and win a prize.

Local Circular Economy Grant 2024 now open

National Waste Management Plan
Are you part of a community group, school, or other local organisation in County Waterford that’s passionate about sustainability?

If you’re eager to make a tangible impact on environmental sustainability, apply for the Circular Economy Grant 2024, run by Waterford City and County Council.

Previously known as the Waste Prevention Grant, this initiative is designed to encourage innovative local projects that embody principles of the circular economy—longevity, renewability, and minimal waste. This approach isn’t just about waste reduction; it’s about transforming our relationship with the resources we use daily.  This year, Waterford City & County Council is focusing on projects that promote reusing, repairing, and changing the way we think about and consume resources. We are looking for initiatives that can demonstrate tangible ways to extend the life of products through skills such as repair and maintenance, reducing the community’s environmental footprint.

Why Apply?
The grant, part of the council’s Waste Prevention Programme under the ‘National Waste Management Plan for a Circular Economy 2024 – 2030‘, supports efforts that help shift local mindsets and behaviours towards sustainable practices. Successful projects might include repair workshops, swap events, or the creation of a community sharing library for tools and equipment—anything that encourages a shift from ‘single-use’ to ‘sustainable reuse’.
In previous years, funded projects have ranged from beach toy libraries to food waste reduction workshops and composting systems. These initiatives not only conserve resources but also cultivate a sense of community and shared responsibility.

How to Apply?
Applications are open to community groups, youth groups, schools, and other community development organisations based in County Waterford. This grant is a chance to launch or expand projects that make a difference.
The application process is detailed below:
  1. Applications must be submitted online through the official form available at www.waterfordcouncil.ie.
  2. A detailed list of project expenditures must be included, with a clear focus on waste prevention activities.
  3. The grant covers up to 50% of approved costs initially, with the balance provided upon satisfactory project completion and reporting.
Key Dates and Criteria
Be sure to submit your application by 5pm on the 28th of June 2024. Projects will be evaluated based on their potential impact on waste prevention and their ability to serve as a replicable model of best practices in sustainability.
Apply now for the Circular Economy Grant 2024 and be at the forefront of environmental innovation in County Waterford.

A Refreshing Start to Bike Week 2024: Dawn Cycle to Tramore

This past Saturday morning, Waterford City & County Council hosted an invigorating “Dawn Cycle” event, marking a special start to Bike Week 2024. As the sun began to peek over the horizon, approximately twenty cycling enthusiasts gathered in Waterford at the brisk hour of 6 am, setting the stage for a memorable ride to Tramore.

The event, part of a nationwide celebration to promote cycling as detailed on the Transport for Ireland’s Bike Week page, aimed to highlight the benefits of cycling, both for personal health and as a sustainable transport option. The journey from Waterford city to scenic Tramore offered participants a unique opportunity to experience the tranquility of the early morning, with quiet streets and the fresh, crisp air of the dawn creating a perfect backdrop.

Riders of all ages and abilities joined the cycle, demonstrating the inclusive spirit of Bike Week. The camaraderie among participants was palpable, with seasoned cyclists and beginners alike sharing laughs, stories, and encouragement.

Upon arrival in Tramore, cyclists were greeted with stunning views of the coastline, a rewarding sight after their early morning endeavor. The event concluded with a communal cuppa where stories were shared over cups of coffee and breakfast treats at the T-Bay surf club on the prom.

As Bike Week continues, Waterford Council hopes to see more residents choosing bicycles as their preferred mode of transport, inspired by the success of this picturesque early morning ride.

See the flyer below for more events throughout Waterford for Bike Week 2024, and consider joining the cycling revolution to better health and a cleaner environment!

Waterford City & County Council launches ‘Bag It Bin It’ Education pack for national schools

Waterford City and County Council launches ‘Bag It Bin It’ Education pack for national schools

Waterford City and County Council’s Environment Department has produced an educational anti-dog fouling resource pack for Waterford’s national schools which emphasises responsible dog ownership.

Ella Ryan, Environmental Awareness Officer with Waterford City and County Council said, “The idea behind the education packs is to start a discussion with children about the hazards of dog poo.  We all know it’s unsightly and smelly, but discarded dog poo can pose a health hazard as it contains harmful bacteria such as E-coli and parasites like roundworm.

“Not only that, parents with buggies, children, and vulnerable groups such as wheelchair users and the visually impaired, are particularly at risk of stepping in or wheeling through dog poo, and being exposed to health implications, not to mention the unpleasantness and inconvenience of getting poo on shoes, hands or wheels.”

The Bag It Bin It education pack has been distributed to all national schools in Waterford city and county.  It includes lesson plans and worksheets for teachers, along with crossword puzzles, colouring pages and stories that highlight the importance of cleaning up your dog’s waste by bagging it and binning it.

Kieran O’Sullivan, Principal of Faithlegg National School said the education packs have been very well received by both students and teachers. “Great work has been done to raise awareness of the issue of dog fouling on footpaths, trails and parks, but this education pack has heightened the significance of this amongst our students. They have learned about the health hazards it can pose, and how harmful it is to the environment.

“All dog owners have a civic responsibility to clean up after their dogs and if we all bag it and bin it, we can protect our communities, our wildlife and our outdoor spaces.”

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Image: Ella Ryan WCCC with Alison Walsh and Jack O’Sullivan from Cheekpoint/Faithlegg Tidy Towns and members of Faithlegg National School Student Council.

Waterford City & County Council urges public to report use of single use plastics

Waterford City and County Council urges public to report use of single use plastics
Waterford City and County Council urges public to report use of single use plastics

In July 2021, the EU imposed a ban on the use of single use plastics, including plates, stirrers, cutlery and straws. The restrictions were introduced in order to replace the use of single use plastic with more sustainable alternatives.

Single use plastic can end up in the environment and lead to the problem of micro plastics in our seas and oceans and are some of the most common single use plastic items found on our beaches.

Today, the majority of businesses use biodegradable alternatives, however, there still remains a small cohort of businesses that continue to use environmentally harmful single use plastics.

Waterford City and County Council is urging members of the public to report premises still using single use plastic cutlery.  Niall Kane, Senior Executive Engineer, Waterford City and County Council said, “We are still seeing single use plastic cutlery being offered to customers in cafés and takeaways in Waterford.  Unless the business is taking back plastic cutlery to wash and reuse, the plastic cutlery is single use.  Unfortunately, some manufacturers are labelling their products reusable, leading retailers to think they are okay.

“The consequences of single use plastics can be seen on our beaches and coastlines as 80% of marine litter is plastics.  Not only is the litter unsightly, but plastic residues are also found in marine life, such as fish, shellfish and birds and invariably in the human food chain.”

Niall added, “Waterford City and County Council is encouraging members of the public to let us know about businesses that are still using single use plastic cutlery.  It is not our intention to fine businesses initially, but to educate them about single use plastics, the alternatives that are available to them, and the benefits to the environment”.

The Single Use Plastic Regulations introduced a €2000 fixed payment notice for any producer placing single use cutlery on the market.

To report premises using single use plastics call Waterford City and County Council on 0818 10 20 20 or email contact@waterfordcouncil.ie

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