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‘Top of the City’ Community Garden a success

A previously derelict site on St Carthage’s Avenue has gone through a complete makeover over the last 18 months thanks to the successful cooperation between Waterford City and County Council, community garden members and local businesses.

The project kicked off after a call from Mary Quigley, Administration Officer with the Council’s Property Management Department, who was eager to support the proposed project from the very beginning, and who suggested the name of the garden: ‘Top of the City’. Cllr Eamon Quinlan (FF) has been also passionately backing the project from the very beginning, supporting the garden in its rapid development.

Fairybush Landscaping, courtesy of Waterford City and County Council, cleared half of the land that was transformed into a growing area and an oasis of calm and tranquillity. The other half was cleared by passionate volunteers during the first lockdown, providing a safe outdoor space for engaging with nature, organising community events and marketing locally produced breads, eggs and vegetables. ‘The Forgotten Barracks’ – a documentary about the history of the garden, which is located in between the external and internal walls of the old Artillery Barracks, was released by the ‘Top of the City’ members during the Heritage Week in August 2021.

The garden on St Carthage’s Avenue is an example of the most perfect platform for cooperation between local authorities and community members. Anti-social behaviour has been significantly reduced due to the positive response to the project, supported by the cooperation with local Garda Station, who patrolled St Carthage’s Avenue more frequently.

There are plans of developing ‘Top of the City’ Garden even further in order to provide opportunities for the residents of the locality, especially those living in the nearest neighbourhood designated as disadvantaged.

Furniture Upcycling workshop with Marianne Heaphy

Join us for a fun introduction to furniture upcycling with Marianne of The Revamp Tramp at 7pm 21st October, as part of Reuse Month.

This free Introduction to Furniture Upcycling Workshop will start with how to prepare furniture for upcycling and detail all the materials that are needed. The techniques will include painting the furniture and achieving a beautiful spray-like finish. Decoupage using napkins and wallpaper will be demonstrated. Different options on revamping hardware will also be run through.

This event will take place online via MS Teams at

Picker Pals Litter-Picking Programmes continues to grow in Waterford

Mayor of City and County of Waterford, Cllr. Joe Kelly, is giving his full support to the roll out of Picker Pals, a litter-picking primary schools programme in Waterford.

This year the programme will grow from the 10 classrooms that took part last year to 36 classrooms this year.  The programme, run by environmental NGO VOICE (Voice of Irish Concern for the Environment) has been a great success to date and thanks to the support of Waterford City and County Council and the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications, the organisers are looking for schools in Waterford to get involved this year.

Speaking at the launch of this programme at the Presentation Primary School, Cllr Joe Kelly, Mayor of City and County of Waterford said, “We all see the effects that litter can have on our local areas.  Raising awareness and taking real action are essential parts of the solution. This Picker Pals programme gives young people the tools and positive motivation to develop stewardship of their local environments.  By taking the message home with them and carrying out a cleanup of their area, they are both helping to spread the message and care for their environment.”

Using upcycled and fully reusable packaging, Picker Pals provide each classroom with bespoke story and activity books, in both Irish and English, and picker-uppers which are taken home by a different child every week.  Each child goes on a litter-picking adventure in their local area with their family and reports back to their classmates on their activity.

Children’s book author and creator of the Picker Pals programme, Patrick Jackson said, “If we can influence children at this key age, we have a chance of tackling the litter crisis.  Picker Pals creates a positive mindset in children and families around the issue of litter and their own power to make a difference.”

“The Picker Pals programme supplements our existing litter education programme for schools and has been especially valuable during the last few months” said Ella Ryan, Environmental Awareness Officer at Waterford City and County Council.  “It helps children to understand how they can make simple, positive changes in their own neighbourhood.”

Teachers and Principals are also very enthusiastic about the programme. Niamh Curry, 1st class Teacher at Presentation Primary school, Waterford city said, “My class took part in the picker pals initiative last year and it was a fantastic experience with parents and children alike really enjoying it.  One parent and pupil bumped into the residence committee while out litter-picking and from that they have decided to organise a weekly clean up for their estate and my pupil can be in charge of it. Thank you so much for this programme and I would highly recommend spreading it out to all schools, if possible.”

If you would like to get involved please register your interest here or check out the Picker Pals website

October is Ireland’s National Reuse Month

Reuse is about valuing our stuff, by using and reusing it for as long and as often as possible. This avoids the need to extract raw materials, manufacture and distribute new stuff, and avoids waste thereby cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions. Why not make a commitment to reuse as many things as possible to save the environment.

Upcoming local events

Conscious Cup workshop for businesses, Tidy Towns groups and others

7 pm, 19th October 2021:

Did you know that we discard over 22,000 single-use cups in Ireland every hour? Single use cups, whether they are biodegradable or compostable, still require vast amounts of natural resources to manufacture, which all impact negatively our environment. This virtual workshop will be led by Sorcha Kavanagh, coordinator of the Conscious Cup Campaign. It aims to give businesses information on the benefits of promoting and accepting reusable and upcoming changes that will take place with new legislation coming down the tracks. It will also inform community groups such as Tidy Towns groups how to can encourage local business in their towns and villages to sign up and accept reusables. Sorcha will demonstrate how simple it is for any business to get involved and in the campaign and how we in our communities can encourage this positive climate action. This event will take place at this Teams Link

Furniture Upcycling workshop with Marianne Heaphy

7 pm, 21st October 2021

This Introduction to Furniture Upcycling Workshop will start with how to prepare furniture for upcycling and detail all the materials that are needed. The techniques will include painting the furniture and achieving a beautiful spray-like finish. Decoupage using napkins and wallpaper will be demonstrated. Different options on revamping hardware will also be run through. To attend this event, simply visit this link

Sustainable Living

10 am, 2nd November 2021

A 2 hour workshop that helps people find easy and enjoyable ways to move towards more sustainable living. The course covers 3 craft topics so people can make their own soap, make their own wax wraps and make their own biodegradable pots by the end of the session. With Aoife Munn, Environmentalist and Horticulturist with a focus on sustainability through practical learning. Register now for this event at

Also this Reuse Month: Sports Club Competition – for more information on how to reduce plastics at your sport club, see Join Sports Clubs around the County and take a pledge to reduce single use plastic and be in with a chance to win 100 branded reusable bottles for your club. Sports clubs in Waterford are invited to register to take a pledge to reduce single use plastic at their club grounds. Once you pledge and register with Refill’s Tap Map, you will be sent a sign to place above your tap, along with a social media post about your pledge to let your members know about the work you are doing. You will also be entered into a draw to win 100 reusable bottles for your sports club, branded with your club logo. For further information see

Upcycle Challenge

MyWaste are challenging you to unearth the imagination within and create something new out of something old…to breathe new life into an old or unwanted item or material. So if you can find something old and renovate it or turn it into something completely different but still usable then you can enter the Upcycle Challenge at

How can I get involved?
National Reuse Month’s aim is to inspire you and provide you with the skills and tools to reuse more at home, at work and at play.

Check out the MyWaste site for some tips and suggestions

National Transport Authority Launch Consultation For Waterford City Bike Locations

The new service will see 14 stations delivered across the city over the coming months.

The National Transport Authority and Waterford City and County Council have begun a two-week consultation process around locations for stations for the bike share scheme in Waterford City.  The scheme will incorporate 14 locations across the city and will become operational later this year.

The consultation will last from today (Thursday, September 16th) to Thursday, September 30th and members of the public can make their submissions at

The city bikes scheme has already been successfully launched in Cork, Galway and Limerick and the NTA hope the Waterford scheme will be just as successful. A similar scheme, supported by NTA was established by Dublin City Council in 2009.

Market research undertaken by the organisation have identified key improvements for the regional city bikes such as a new baskets, which were overwhelmingly requested as a priority by members of the public. Newly improved mudguards which offer more robust protection than the current fleet, and the rear lighting system will also be improved to cater for increased night usage of the service.

Fergus Galvin, Director of  Services – Roads, Water & Environment – Waterford City and County Council welcomed the initiative.  “As part of Waterford’s aim to become carbon neutral by 2040, the introduction of the bike share scheme will greatly alter our mindset of over reliability on cars, which account for 35% of total emissions. Coupled with this, the bike share scheme will provide a low-cost, healthy and readily available mode of transport throughout the city.”

Further information

TFI Bikes are a self-service bike rental service open to all from 14-years old. Stations are conveniently located through each city making it easy to get around on a TFI Bike, whether it is commuting to work & meetings or some sight-seeing at your leisure.

TFI Bikes consists of stations with a terminal and stands for the bikes. The bikes are locked into the stands, when a bike is hired it is released by the system. On return, the bike is locked back into a stand at any station, and the hire is then completed.

An Annual Subscription is the easiest way to use TFI Bikes in the city – just present your card and enjoy the benefits, all year round, for just €10/year. The first 30-minutes of each hire is at no charge, for longer hires a service charge applies. The fund will be administered for the Department of Transport by the National Transport Authority.

Among the changes to the bikes are:

  • New Mudguard designs
  • New handlebar and basket designs
  • A new bike lock
  • A new chain guard
  • New Wheel rims
  • Updated bike lights
  • A new bike frame

Find out more about the consultation to the scheme here.

Recycling Changes announced as Soft Plastic Waste can now be placed in Household Recycling Bins

Recycling Changes announced as Soft Plastic can now be put in Irish Household Recycling Bins
Pic. Brian Arthur

All plastic packaging waste – including soft plastic – can now be placed in Irish household recycling bins as long as it is clean, dry and loose.

Making the announcement, Minister of State with special responsibility for Communications and Circular Economy, Ossian Smyth TD said soft plastic can be placed in the household recycling bin along with “rigid” plastic.

“This is a significant and very positive development in Irish recycling and waste management. Soft plastics have been added to the household recycling list due to advancements in technology at Irish recycling facilities. This is welcome news as we work to reach EU recycling targets. Currently in Ireland we recycle less than a third of all plastic packaging waste. We have committed to increasing our plastic packaging recycling figure to 50% by 2025 and 55% by 2030. Today’s announcement is a significant step towards achieving these targets,” added Minister Smyth.

Today’s development is also part of the effort to fulfil commitments in relation to plastic packaging recycling as outlined in the Government’s Waste Action Plan for a Circular Economy.

Pauline McDonogh, Spokesperson for MyWaste – Ireland’s official website for guidance on managing waste, said that the addition of soft plastic to the Irish household recycling bin makes waste segregation much more straight forward for the householder.

“Householders can now place all plastic packaging waste, including soft plastic, into the recycling bin once it is clean, dry and loose.

“Advancements have been made to the technology that segregates the different material types in recycling facilities. The recyclable plastic is sent to specialised, polymer-specific recycling facilities. If it cannot currently be recycled, it will be sent as Solid Recovered Fuel (SRF) to replace fossil fuels at cement kilns.”

Adding her support to the announcement, Repak Team Green Ambassador Roz Purcell said, “The Irish citizen can play a key role in helping Ireland increase our plastic packaging waste recycling rate and continue our journey to becoming a more sustainable society. We can make a big difference by simply ensuring that we place the plastic packaging waste that we discard – clean, dry and loose – into our household recycling bin.”

All permitted waste collection companies are now accepting soft plastic packaging waste that is placed clean, dry and loose into the recycling bin.

For a detailed list of the materials that are now accepted in the household recycling bin see


Minister Eamon Ryan discusses Waterford’s Decarbonisation Zone designation

On Monday, September 6th, Minister for Transport and Minister for Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan TD visited Waterford to discuss Waterford’s Decarbonising Zone (DZ) designation with Waterford City and County Council.

Picture: Patrick Browne

In Ireland’s Climate Action Plan, local authorities were identified as key enablers in advancing climate action in their local areas and the plan required that each local authority identify a Decarbonising Zone.

In April 2021, Waterford City and County Council agreed that Waterford City would be the designated Decarbonising Zone for Waterford.  Acting as a “Transition Super-Lab”, where real-life initiatives to manage the transition from a fossil fuel based local economy to carbon Net Zero will be designed and implemented, the DZ projects include building energy efficiency, sustainable transport, renewable energy generation and carbon sequestration.

The Minister met with Mayor of Waterford City and County, Cllr. Joe Kelly, Michael Walsh, Chief Executive and Fergus Galvin, Director of Services, Waterford City and County Council.

Michael Walsh, Chief Executive, Waterford City and County Council, highlighted that Waterford has set an ambitious target of attaining Net Zero or carbon neutrality by 2040, through reducing major emissions, and developing sustainability through collaboration, innovation and behavioural change. While it implies a systemic change to the city and the community, it has the potential to achieve a most remarkable and positive change for Waterford and its citizens.

Fergus Galvin, Director of Services, Roads, Water & Environment said, “This journey will require the support of many partners and the broad population.  Our philosophy is one of engagement and asking people to join us on the journey to make Waterford best in class in respect of quality of life and sustainability.”

Minister Ryan then launched National Bike Week, which will take place from September 12th to 18th.

Celebrating the benefits of cycling, Waterford City and County Council in association with Waterford Sports Partnership has compiled a wide ranging programme of cycling events and workshops, to help raise the profile of cycling in Waterford and to highlight its benefits to the community and the planet.

Free Workshop For Teachers About Fashion And The Environment

In Ireland, our addiction to new clothes is doing more harm than you may think. Half a tonne of clothing is dumped here every minute, producing over 12 tonnes of carbon emissions – the same as driving 65,000 kilometres in a car. (Source: Oxfam Ireland)

Help your class to take action on climate change, water pollution and overconsumption in this simple lesson. Begin a conversation about where their clothes were made and how long they will last.

Download the leaflet here


This online workshop will help you to teach your class about this topic (register at . The accompanying teaching pack contains a presentation and teaching handbook to educate pupils about the impacts of fast fashion on our environment (you can download this presentation and handbook from

The way we make, use and throw away our clothes is unsustainable. Textile production contributes more to climate change than international aviation and shipping combined, consumes lake-sized volumes of fresh water and creates chemical and plastic pollution.

This teaching guide for secondary school teachers will help to both raise and discuss the issues surrounding fast fashion with pupils. The most sustainable garment is the one we already own. Repairing, re-wearing, reusing, and renting are preferable to recycling or discarding clothes.

You can also attend a free workshop on this topic at 7pm on Wednesday 13th October 2021; register now at



Waterford Council have been working with several community groups over the summer on the Bag it, Bin it campaign.

One of these groups was Tournore Court Residents Association, Dungarvan who borrowed the Bag it, Bin it stencil and sprayed the message on footpaths within their estate to remind dog walkers to pick up after their dog and bin it.

Waterford announced as one of Ireland’s first recipients of Creative Climate Action funding

Waterford City and County Council (WCCC), in partnership with Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT), is delighted to be awarded €155,000 from Creative Climate Action funding. The funding will support five creative projects in Waterford city and county that will build awareness around climate change and lead to meaningful behavioural change around climate issues.

The project, titled ACT Waterford, will run until the end of 2022. The ACT Waterford team intend to engage five different communities in Waterford City and County with themes of climate change including transport, domestic energy, green spaces and consumption. Facilitators will work with these communities to try to understand where they are on climate change action, discuss what the barriers can be around the issues and they will work with creatives to explore solutions with communities. A variety of artists and creatives will be recruited for the project and the work will be shared with the wider Waterford community through public exhibition and performance at various cultural events. Social media and a website will allow the communities to share their ideas and videos will document the project as it goes on.

Fergus Galvin, WC&CC Director of Service for Roads, Water & Environment welcomes the announcement.  “This project aligns with WCCC’s aim to make Waterford City a decarbonised zone by 2040. We have set ambitious targets, including cutting carbon emissions by 7% per annum between now and 2040. The actions required to achieve these targets will be taken by all communities in Waterford and it is important that creative approaches are seen as an essential part of the solution.”

According to Eoin Gill of WIT’s STEM engagement centre Calmast, which will manage the project, we must move from climate change awareness to climate change action. “The fires in Greece and other events from around the world show us the dangerous effects of climate change. This project will help place Waterford in the lead in climate action in Ireland. We are delighted that many experts in climate change and creativity from WIT will be involved in this initiative to partner with the council and communities to bring about real change.”

Katherine Collins, Waterford’s Creative Ireland Coordinator said “Creativity and imagination are our most important tools to overcome challenges and recognise opportunities. Through a collective approach we will bring science, technology, education and creativity together with communities in Waterford who want to make positive changes leading to climate actions in their homes and localities.”

Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin welcomed the announcement of the funding, noting that Ireland is the first country in the EU to launch a creative climate fund.

Creative Climate Action is a €2 million fund developed by the Creative Ireland Programme in collaboration with the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications. The project will be overseen by WCCC and managed by Calmast, WIT’s STEM engagement centre with support from climate action experts from WCCC and WIT.


Resources to help keep Waterford clean this summer

From the Environmental Awareness department, we are inviting local businesses to join us to make Waterford the cleanest county in Ireland this summer. 

Key to this element of the Green Your Picnic campaign is your business’s help in keeping millions of single use cups, bottles and cutlery from ending up as litter. The equivalent of 2.25 million single use cups and bottles are used over a single long weekend. Just removing single use items from your takeaway food or drinks would significantly reduce Ireland’s waste output.


View the leaflet and poster for you to use to reduce waste at your business here

Waterford Takeaway Litter Poster

There are more useful resources for you to use at following sites:

  • – new commercial waste toolkit available, including downloadable posters, bin labels, a brochure, a checklist and 4 short animations. In additional to the downloadable option, a limited number of printed materials are available free of charge.   The materials were initially designed with catering and retail sectors in mind. The booklet ‘How to manage your business waste’ has tips for waste prevention and segregation, with a particular focus on food waste and recyclables. The four animations ( each approx. 90secs long) would be a great training tool for staff, as they provide a good, catchy overview of how to prevent and segregate waste.
  • Conscious Cup have developed posters, social media graphics and guides for cafes, shops, etc who accept reusable cups.






“Bag it & Bin it” campaign urges dog owners to protect young children

Waterford Childcare Committee and Waterford City & County Council are reminding dog owners to clean up after their dog. The campaign simply prompts dog walkers to “Bag it & Bin it”.

Waterford Childcare Committee and Waterford City and County Council are working together to highlight the effect of dog fouling on anyone who uses our streets, parks and beaches, but particularly its impact on children.


Rose Murphy of Waterford Childcare Committee explained that “It is extremely important that all dog owners clean up after their dog as there are serious health risks for children who come in contact with dog fouling. Children play ball, cycle, run and play other games on green areas, beaches, walk and cycleways and parks.  It is important therefore that all dog owners are responsible and remove any dog fouling to ensure that all children can play safely and enjoy the amenities available Remember,  Bag it and Bin it! cleaning up after your dog ensures that children and adults can be safe and enjoy all of the wonderful amenities available to children, families and the community in Waterford ”

Ella Ryan, Environment Awareness Officer, Waterford City and County Council explained “It is safe to clean up after your dog. If you don’t bag it and bin it, after 10 days a parasite can develop that can result in significant health implications over time, including serious illness such as salmonella, E. Coli, gastroenteritis and toxocariasis. Young children are often affected, but it impacts people of all ages.” She went on to confirm that “while it is evident that just a small percentage of dog owners do this, it has a big impact on others who use our public spaces; children, walkers, wheelchair users, runners, ball players, etc. Whether you walk your dog on a street, in a park or on a beach, the message is simple… Bag it & Bin it. “

IBAL Marine 2021 – Co Waterford Survey sites

A nationwide survey by business group Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) that took place during June and July judged Tramore beach to be Clean to European Norms and Dungarvan harbour to be moderately littered. While 40% of 32 coastal areas surveyed were deemed ‘Clean to European norms’, there was a rise in areas branded ‘littered’.  “The story is a positive one in that we’ve seen a welcome rise in the number of clean beaches and harbours compared to our study of 2 years ago,” comments Conor Horgan of IBAL. “This is especially encouraging given the number of people who are staycationing and availing of our coastal amenities this year.”

“As well as local authorities, credit is due to the growing number of Clean Coasts volunteer groups, now 1,500-strong, who work so hard to keep our beaches free of litter. Their efforts are clearly bearing fruit,” adds Mr Horgan.  “The most common forms of litter found by the assessors were cigarette butts, sweet wrappers, disposable masks and plastic bottles, with coffee cups also featuring strongly. Alcohol cans were found in almost half of all sites.  “The majority of these litter item are plastics, whose impact on the marine environment is a recognised source of global concern. Cigarette butts, for example, may appear harmless, but they are in effect a single-use plastic which poses a real danger to our sea life.” Research shows a single butt can contaminate up to 200 litres of water.”

For information, below are the comments for IBAL Marine survey 2021 for Tramore beach and Dungarvan harbour.

IBAL coastal survey 2021 – An Taisce summary comments

Tramore Overview

Clean to European Norms

Tramore: It was striking how incredibly clean the beach area and immediate hinterland of Tramore Strand were, with the beach particularly pristine.  Regular bins were supplemented by additional ones for the summer season and litter awareness / dog fouling notices were in excellent condition and fresh in appearance.  As well as recycling options, there was a novel feature for the collection of plastic bottles for recycling.  Despite plenty of activity, there was a virtual absence of litter in the area surveyed.  It is clear that great care is taken to not only keep the area clean and clear, but also an inviting and pleasant environment.

Dungarvan Overview

Moderately littered

Dungarvan: The overall impression at Dungarvan harbour and immediate hinterland was of a moderately littered site with no large accumulations. There were some notable items within the water area  e.g. traffic cones and alcohol related litter e.g. beer bottles and pint glasses.  The problem with glass bottles and glass is that they can break and become a health hazard, as did happen at this site.  Cigarette butts were also present around seating areas.  The recent installation of solar powered bins with cigarette butt disposal facility is a welcome addition to the area.  Walton Park was very freshly presented with attractive planning, good overall maintenance and minimal litter.  The litter awareness notices were in good order.  

Dungarvan goes all out!

Dungarvan is embracing its rich heritage, natural beauty and extensive food offering to become one of the country’s leading staycation destinations.

Following investment from Waterford City and County Council, Fáilte Ireland and local businesses, Dungarvan is enjoying a bumper year of domestic tourists as we are encouraged to enjoy an ‘outdoor’ summer.

Working in collaboration with local businesses and residents, the combined efforts of WCCC’s economic development, planning, roads and presentation teams have provided locals and tourists with an extensive, quality outdoor dining experience.  With almost 1,000 outdoor dining seats available, covered by parasols and protected by planters and screens, visitors have been able to enjoy the culinary delights from the towns many fine restaurants, cafes and pubs, in all weathers.

The planters have been designed and manufactured by a Dungarvan-based Engineering firm and are a bespoke concept developed by the Waterford Council’s Presentation Team. The colour and vibrancy added by the tasteful planting and outdoor seating in Grattan Square, Davitt’s Quay and the Dungarvan Castle Green is bringing a renewed sense of adventure to Dungarvan for the summer season.     

Mayor of Waterford City and County, Cllr. Joe Kelly said that the addition of the outdoor dining space is a valuable addition to the town.  “The development of inviting and attractive spaces where people can dine comfortably outdoors is creating a renewed sense of energy and a boost to local businesses.  Not only do locals and visitors have a wide choice of high calibre dining experiences throughout the town, they can enjoy good food and company in a stunning, safe and relaxing public realm.”

Kieran Kehoe, Director of Services with Waterford City and County Council and Dungarvan Town Manager said, “As part of Waterford Council’s continued support to local cafés, restaurants and other food outlets, the planters, parasols and screens which are installed across the town centre and its environs, bring a vibrant energy to the public realms and also open up the space and options for people to enjoy an outdoor dining experience.”

“These areas are providing additional space in order for the businesses to achieve compliance with social distancing requirements and will provide a further attraction to tourists who choose Waterford as their holiday destination. By sharing a common vision, this collaborative project really has given the town a fantastic boost of energy, vibrancy and confidence. ”