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Waterford City & County Council launches Community Climate Action Programme

Waterford City and County Council, in conjunction with the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications, recently launched a new Community Climate Action Programme.

The programme aims to support small and large, rural and urban communities to take climate action at a local level and provide these communities with the opportunities to take a holistic approach and actively shape their transition to a low carbon and sustainable community.

Funding is available for 100% of the project and communities can apply for up to €20,000, €50,000 or €100,000.

Projects of interest would address the themes of energy; travel; food and waste; shopping and recycling; and local climate and environmental action. Projects can include a suite of measures, not just one specific action.  Successful applicants under this scheme will deliver a variety of projects that have a direct climate action impact.

Eligible communities must be a not-for-profit; be located in the operational area of Waterford City and County Council, and be registered with the PPN or connected with other collectives such as the Wheel, Tidy Towns and /or a community group with Articles of Association or a Constitution, which hold an AGM, and for which approved minutes are available.

Examples of eligible groups include charities, local environmental groups, sports clubs, social enterprises etc.

This month, Waterford City and County Council will host a series of information events about the upcoming Community Climate Action programme:

  • Waterford City, Granville Hotel (X91 XH5R) on Wednesday 8th March at 7:15pm
  • Dungarvan, The Park Hotel (X35 CC97) on Thursday 9th March at 7:15pm
  • Online on Friday 10th March at 2:00pm

The information events will be followed by a project development workshop in Waterford on March 25th, which will give communities an opportunity to explore the themes, share experiences, brainstorm ideas and develop their project ideas.

All communities are welcome, from those who are starting their green journey to those with more experience. There will also be opportunities to develop project ideas with Waterford City and County Council’s new Community Climate Action Officer.

You can register for the introductory events online here at this link.

If you have any queries please get in touch with the Community Climate Action Officer, Susan Lee by email climateaction@waterfordcouncil.ie.

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Free to use images: Patrick Browne

Announcing details of the  Community Climate Action Programme in Waterford were

l-r: Susan Lee WCCC Community Climate Action Officer; Mayor of Waterford City and County, Cllr John O’Leary; Paul Kamp, Representative for the Top of the City Community Garden; and Susan Gallagher, Environmental Representative for the Waterford PPN.

Waterford once again ranked as Ireland’s Cleanest City

Once again Waterford has emerged as Ireland’s Cleanest City in the Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) Anti-Litter League.  The city ranked 12th out of 40 cities and towns and was classed as Clean to European Norms.

The report cited that Waterford City performed strongly once again and went on to add, ‘What is so encouraging is that a previously highlighted site has since been addressed – the Miscellaneous site (diagonally opposite train station) at the Bridge…this time around it was a much-improved site with a virtual absence of litter.’

Areas such as Broad Street / Barronstrand Street, Plunkett Train Station, Medieval Triangle / Cultural Quarter, People’s Park, and the grounds of Waterford Courthouse, were regarded as excellent sites, were well presented and maintained and a complete absence of litter was noted throughout.

The report also noted that ‘based on the amount of litter / cigarette butt notices and the lack of litter at Bus Eireann Bus Station, it is clear that litter is taken very seriously.’

Several approach roads to Waterford city received a Grade A ranking.  It was noted that the R448 Newrath Approach Road was ‘a very freshly presented route with very minimal litter items throughout and presented a very good first impression of Waterford City, and this was maintained for many of the remainder of the sites surveyed.’  The Cork Road approach was ‘an exceptionally freshly presented route with excellent road surfaces / markings.  No visible litter issues throughout the stretch of road surveyed.’  A virtual absence of litter was noted along the Tramore Approach Road also.

Other sites which performed very well included IDA Industrial Estate, SETU Cork Road, George’s Street, Kingfisher Sports Facility, and Bolton Street Car Park.

The Riverwalk from Edmund Rice Bridge to Wallace Memorial, where extensive enhancement works have taken place is improved by ‘attractive new paving looks very well. All aspects of the area surveyed were in excellent condition e.g., signage, lifebelts, seating, planted areas etc. It was excellent with regard to litter.’

Waterford Nature Reserve / Kilbarry Nature Park is an extraordinarily clean site with ‘just one mineral can throughout an entire 2km route!’

The Bring Centre at Tesco, Ardkeen was however described as a litter blackspot that wasn’t just casually littered but ‘subject to dumping.’

There was a strong performance for Ballybeg over the previous survey.  A couple of sites which had previous been heavily littered have since been addressed.   The main access routes were all top ranking, along with Tesco and Ballybeg Park / Playground with the latter a lovely amenity which was very well presented and maintained.

Fergus Galvin, Director of Services with Waterford City and County Council said that Waterford’s status as Ireland’s Cleanest City was once again a great achievement for the city.

“Waterford’s standing as the cleanest city is a result of the hard work and dedication of a number of integral groups…voluntary committees, local schools, the business community, and the staff of Waterford City and County Council’s Cleansing Section.

“Environmental awareness initiatives have also played a key role in informing and engaging future generations.  The recent Anti-litter challenge for secondary schools with Tom Murphy Car Sales, Green Schools, and Picker Pals go a long way to instil a sense of pride in our place for school-going children and young adults.

“Combined with initiatives like 2GoCup, which tackles the issue of single use plastics; the introduction of wash stations for reusables at food festivals, and the Gum Litter Task force have all paid dividends as they help keep our public realm spaces spotless.”

Further initiatives that Waterford City and County Council promoted and supported in 2022 included the Green Dog Walker Programme, Leave No Trace, work with Tidy Towns and other community groups and the Anti-Graffiti and Anti-Litter Awareness Grant Scheme.

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Waterford City and County Council launches innovative Bring Banks sensors project 

Waterford City and County Council’s Environment Department has this week launched an innovative Bring Banks sensors project, aimed at tackling litter build up around bring banks that may be full.

bringbank_sensors

Sensors to monitor the levels of glass within bring banks have been installed at 70 locations around the city and county.  Information from the sensors, available via a smartphone map on the Council’s website, will allow members of the public to check capacity of the different types of glass and avoid a wasted trip, or plan to visit an alternative bring centre. The project will also reduce the amount of fuel required for the Council’s glass collection contractors to empty the bottle banks.

Funding of €45,000 for this project was provided by The Public Service Innovation Fund run by Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER) following a successful application earlier in the year.  This is a competitive fund that aims to support innovative ideas from across public service organisations and turn them into a reality.  Projects must have a strong focus on outcomes and impact with additional focus on scalability, transferability and learning within the public sector.

Senior Executive Engineer with Waterford Council’s Environment Section, Niall Kane, spoke at the launch of the project this week, saying, “The funding for this project from The Public Service Innovation Fund is integral in the roll out one of the country’s first smart bring bank projects.  The installation of these sensors is a very positive climate action and will result in less journeys by customers and less overheads on the collection contractors.  Not only that, but we are providing live information through a person’s smartphone too, as the sensors provide information on what colour of glass is filling up, where the capacity is in the network and where the next nearest bank might be.”

Galway based firm Magnus Monitors were chosen as partners for the project and have installed some 141 monitors at 70 bring banks across the city and county.  The type of equipment installed is a highly accurate level monitor that can remotely monitor bottle banks of up to 4m in height. Their battery-driven solution is low powered when compared to other mains wired solutions and lasts for up to 5 years.

Mayor of Waterford City and County, Cllr. John O’Leary said, “We were delighted to receive funding for this important project.  Recycling glass benefits businesses as well as the environment as it reduces their carbon footprint and saves money by lowering emissions, the consumption of raw materials and the use of facilities.  If you have ever arrived at your local bottle bank and found it overflowing, now we can help alleviate that.  We’re encouraging citizens to scan the QR code at their bottle bank or check on your smartphone and head to a bring bank with capacity nearby.”

To mark the launch of the monitors, two exciting competitions are planned on local radio and on social media, with daily prizes of commissioned recycled glasswork by An Rinn-based craftsman Eamonn Terry of  Criostal na Rinne and Sean Egan of Sean Egan Art Glass, based in Waterford’s Bishop’s Palace.

For more information on the project, and to check the capacity levels at your local bring centre, see www.waterfordcouncil.ie/bringbanks

Construction begins on new €7m Ferrybank Pump Station at former Dunlop site

Waterford City and County Council and Irish Water have commenced construction on a new pump station in Ferrybank to improve the overall wastewater infrastructure.  The project represents a further step in the continued delivery of improvements to the wastewater network in Ferrybank.

Funded by Irish Water, the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government’s Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF), NTA and Waterford City and County Council, the project will see the upgraded station replace the existing pump station and be located to the former Dunlop site, which now forms an integral part of the North Quays Strategic Development Zone (SDZ).

The new pump station will have expanded storage to significantly reduce the frequency of sewage overflows into the River Suir during wet weather events, improve wastewater capacity in the Ferrybank catchment area, and meet all environmental standards for discharge of sewage overflows.

The existing Ferrybank pump station occupies a small but central part of the Waterford North Quays Strategic Development Zone (SDZ).  This is an eight-hectare site pivotally located in the centre of the region’s City and designated as a SDZ in 2016.  The site had remained derelict for decades and hindered the integration, attractiveness, and sustainable development of the City Centre and consequently the surrounding area.  However, the decommissioning of this station and the construction of an improved facility will allow for the development of a derelict City Centre Strategic site.

Commenting on the upgrade, Mayor of Waterford City and County, Cllr. John O’Leary said, “This investment in a new pumping station in Ferrybank will have far-reaching benefits to the catchment area.  Sewage overflows will be exponentially decreased which will undoubtedly be welcomed by the local community.

“The implementation of much improved wastewater infrastructure will improve flood protection, reduce the sites carbon footprint and facilitate future development as the catchment area grows.”

Lisa Cogan from Irish Water said, “We are delighted to be making progress on this essential wastewater improvement project in Ferrybank and as a result of the collaborative works between Irish Water and Waterford City and County Council, the local community will see the benefits for years to come in terms of health, integrity of the environment and improved water quality for all.

“The construction of the pumping station and new wastewater pipes will ensure wastewater infrastructure capacity can meet future demand and support social and economic development in the Ferrybank area.”

Upon completion the project will reduce the risk of sewer overflow with the catchment, improve the separation of foul and surface water networks, enhance the water quality of the River Suir though improved foul water storage and reduced overflows and ensure compliance with the EU Urban Wastewater Treatment Directives.

David Walsh Civil Engineering is the main contractor on the project, with Consultant Engineers from Nicholas O’Dwyer Consulting Engineers, and Roughan & O’Donovan Consulting Engineers.  Works are expected to be completed by December 2023.

Earlier this month, the Government gave approval for €170.6m of investment in the Waterford North Quays Infrastructure Project.

The transformative project will create a sustainable modern mixed-use development that will harness and extend Waterford’s city centre, whilst reinstating the primacy of the river by creating a compact and vibrant core centred on the River Suir.  The funding announced will deliver the public infrastructure that will serve both the SDZ site and the public, including enhanced multi-modal access routes, an integrated transport hub and the sustainable transport bridge.

The infrastructure will enable the commercial development on the SDZ Site, which will include offices, residential, retail, accommodation, and tourism investment in conference/exhibition facilities, as well as a 4-star hotel and visitor’s centre.

While elements of the project will have important transport and socio-economic benefits, the main objective is to leverage further investment in Waterford City and the region, by attracting indigenous and multinational companies and the retail and tourism sectors.  The development of the North Quays as a modern multi-purpose development on the North site of the city will increase employment, provide much needed high quality residential units, enhance the retail offer and build on Waterford’s reputation as the Best Place to Live in Ireland.

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Photographs: Patrick Browne

Energy Saving Booklet for Waterford households

Waterford City and County Council’s Climate Action Team has published an
Energy-Saving Booklet, developed in direct response to the ongoing global energy crisis which is adversely impacting households and businesses.

Using a common-sense approach to energy saving, the booklet is intended to act as a baseline from which actions can be taken and built upon. While many may be familiar with the tips within, old habits may prevent us from realizing their benefits. Topics covered in the booklet include energy poverty, energy supplier guidance, household appliance energy usage and home energy upgrades.

Climate Action Coordinator with the Council, Gráinne Kennedy says:

Everyone relies on energy to run their homes. Be it for heating, cooking, or powering appliances but in Ireland, we rely primarily on fossil fuels for our energy needs which of course, is not sustainable.  Though a small gesture, it is hoped that the people of Waterford will be able to use the information within this booklet to reduce their energy use with the aim of making cost and emissions savings.”

The booklet has been developed with the primary aims of the reduction of C02 emissions through the mitigation of energy-related emissions and to assist households with the management and reduction of their household energy costs.

The booklet forms part of Waterford City and County Council’s adopted Climate Adaptation Strategy 2019-2024, the Council’s Roadmap to Carbon Neutrality 2040 and commitments made under the EU Covenant of Mayors. Available in English and Irish and containing some 20 pages of information including tip and tricks on energy reduction, as well as a detailed glossary of terms, the booklet will be distributed free of charge to households throughout Waterford in the near future.

Speaking at the launch of the booklet, Mayor of Waterford City and County Council, Cllr. John O’Leary said:

“I’d like to thank all who worked on this valuable booklet and am delighted to see that it will be distributed free of charge around the county.  The cost-of-living crisis effects each one of us and a reference like this will be a useful resource as to what we can all do in our homes and businesses to reduce our energy needs.”

The booklet is also available below.

Farmer fined for dumping septic tank waste in a stream

On November 14th, a farmer from east Co. Waterford was fined €3,000 with further costs of €720 in Waterford District Court.

Waterford City and County Council took the case when inspectors discovered that the farmer had dumped waste from a septic tank he had emptied into a stream on his land.

The farmer pled guilty to the offence at the earliest opportunity.

The incident was also cross reported to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, which resulted in the farmer being penalised 20% of his farm payments.

Septic tank owners are reminded on the requirement to use an authorised waste collector to empty their septic tanks.

Always ask to see a copy of their permit or check it at the National Waste Collection Permit Office at www.nwcpo.ie

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Reminder: Dungarvan Roundabout Sponsorship Scheme 2023

Waterford City & County Council is implementing a scheme for the sponsorship of roundabouts around our city and county. The Council is seeking to engage with businesses and organisations who wish to enhance our city and county’s built environment while benefiting from advertising opportunities being offered on selected roundabouts.

Overview

  • This particular tender relates to roundabouts on public roads in the Dungarvan area.
  • The roundabouts are located on the N25 Dungarvan Bypass and one roundabout on the R675 Coast Road at Ballinroad.
  • The sponsorship duration will be for a period of five years commencing in January 2023.
  • The latest date for receipt of communications in connection with this tender is: 4:00pm on Friday, 11th November 2022.
  • Closing date for receipt of completed tenders is: 4:00pm on Friday, 18th November 2022.

Tender Documents
Full tender document, map, fee information, specifications, tender form etc. are available here in the TENDER DOCUMENT.

Communications
Communications in connection with the Tender or requests for clarification should be addressed to: Anthony Russell, Administrative Officer, Environment Department, Waterford City & County Council, Civic Offices, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford.

E-mail: arussell@waterfordcouncil.ie

The latest date for receipt of communications in connection with this tender is: 4:00pm on Friday, 11th November 2022.  All queries and resulting replies will be posted on the Council’s website.

4 Active Travel Public Consultations closing on 1 November

We currently have 4 Active Travel Public Consultations open, and that will close on next Tuesday November 1st.

The registration process is a one-time process and your account can be used for all of the Council’s future online public consultations. You will be able to record your submissions across multiple consultations and save the progress of partially completed submissions to complete at a later date.

 

Dungarvan Roundabout Sponsorship Scheme 2023

Waterford City & County Council is implementing a scheme for the sponsorship of roundabouts around our city and county. The Council is seeking to engage with businesses and organisations who wish to enhance our city and county’s built environment while benefiting from advertising opportunities being offered on selected roundabouts.

Overview

  • This particular tender relates to roundabouts on public roads in the Dungarvan area.
  • The roundabouts are located on the N25 Dungarvan Bypass and one roundabout on the R675 Coast Road at Ballinroad.
  • The sponsorship duration will be for a period of five years commencing in January 2023.
  • The latest date for receipt of communications in connection with this tender is: 4:00pm on Friday, 11th November 2022.
  • Closing date for receipt of completed tenders is: 4:00pm on Friday, 18th November 2022.

Tender Documents
Full tender document, map, fee information, specifications, tender form etc. are available here in the TENDER DOCUMENT.

Communications
Communications in connection with the Tender or requests for clarification should be addressed to: Anthony Russell, Administrative Officer, Environment Department, Waterford City & County Council, Civic Offices, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford.

E-mail: arussell@waterfordcouncil.ie

The latest date for receipt of communications in connection with this tender is: 4:00pm on Friday, 11th November 2022.  All queries and resulting replies will be posted on the Council’s website.

Swap for the Swap … as part of ReUse month

We all accumulate items during the course of our lives that we have outgrown or no longer have use for, e.g. sporting equipment, school uniforms, clothes etc.

Why not hold a local swap event and help your community become more sustainable? Reusing our items is a positive climate action that we can all do. Follow our ten simple steps to running your own swap event on https://waterfordcouncil.ie/departments/environment/waste-management/index.htm 

You will also find posters on our website for you to print out and use at your swap events. Let’s get swapping!