Belfast Telegraph

Monday 24 November 2014

Big Spring Clean: Join anti-rubbish revolution

Sam Robb GB, David Falconer BB and Patricia Lynch, Catholic Guides of Ireland.
Sam Robb GB, David Falconer BB and Patricia Lynch, Catholic Guides of Ireland.
Aoife Gregg

These are some of the green army of dedicated volunteers poised to help transform Northern Ireland in the weeks to come.

They are gearing up to tackle the litter blighting their area as part of a major push to clean up our towns and countryside.

Today the Belfast Telegraph joins forces with Tidy Northern Ireland and DoE Rethink Waste as we launch our Big Spring Clean at the Skainos Centre in east Belfast with the help of Environment Minister Alex Attwood.

We are hoping to galvanise more than 50,000 people into tackling the litter in their local areas this spring.

Last week pupils from Star of the Sea Primary School on the Antrim Road, Belfast, got set to do battle on litter. Their school won the coveted Green Flag Award from Eco Schools in November.

Star of the Sea teacher Gillian McCotter said: "The Big Spring Clean campaign is a great initiative for all our local school children... reinforcing a positive environmental attitude in the classroom encourages children to maintain this message throughout their local community."

Meanwhile, the National Trust has pledged its support for the Northern Ireland-wide campaign.

National Trust volunteering and communities consultant Dave Morton said: "Northern Ireland has so many beautiful places and it is disheartening to see some of them clogged with litter and rubbish – that is why we are backing the Big Spring Clean 100%."

And 75 young people and leaders from all the main uniformed youth organisations in Northern Ireland got together at the Share Centre in Lisnaskea for a cross-community clean-up.

Representatives from the Catholic Girl Guides of Ireland, Girlguiding Ulster, The Boys' Brigade, The Girls' Brigade, Scouting Ireland and The Scout Association came together.

Last year the Big Spring Clean mobilised an incredible 26,000 volunteers who lifted 163 tonnes of litter. This year, we've set ourselves an even tougher target – getting 50,000 people to join the region-wide clean-up.

Factfile

Joining in the Big Spring Clean is easy. All you need to do is register an event or join an existing event online at www.bigspringcleanni.org, order your free clean-up kit and get stuck in. Don't forget to tell us how successful your event was afterwards. Your local council will help by supplying additional kit and will collect the rubbish gathered. The website has your council's contact details to co-ordinate this. For more information, check out the website, e-mail info@bigspringcleanni.org or contact Tidy Northern Ireland directly by phoning 028 9073 6920.

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