Belfast Telegraph

Sweeper system helps Lisburn Distillery FC clean up

By Linda Stewart

Lisburn Distillery FC were floored last week — or at least their car park was.

Anti-social flytippers had dumped a large quantity of carpet in the car park, along with a car ramp, a discarded bicycle and a couple of doors.

But last weekend, club members and supporters rolled up their sleeves and banded together to clean up the flytipped rubbish as part of our Big Spring Clean campaign — and also tackled nearby McIlroy Park and the Lagan Towpath while they were at it.

The Big Spring Clean, which runs throughout the month of April, is a joint venture by the Belfast Telegraph, Tidy Northern Ireland and DOE Rethink Waste aimed at inspiring 25,000 people across Northern Ireland to tackle the litter blighting their local areas.

So far, more than 20,000 have taken up the challenge and got involved inclean-ups that make a difference to their local area.

Lisburn Distillery’s cleaning squad gathered together 24 bags of rubbish along with 12 bags of cans and plastic bottles which are destined for recycling.

Community relations officer Ged Irwin said he organised the event after hearing about the Big Spring Clean at a meeting of community relations officers in Ballymena.

“We have a large car park and people seem to use it as a dumping ground sometimes. We found a bike, we found a car ramp, a couple of doors and a lot of carpets, along with general waste,” he said.

“A lot of the time no-one is around and that is when the rubbish is dumped.

“We had just over 40 people helping with the clean-up — there were supporters and then the Academy players with their parents and coaches and so on. They enjoyed it.

“One of the parents commented that it made you feel that you were doing something worthwhile.

“The towpath wasn’t too bad, just general bits and pieces such as plastic bottles, and there were a few areas where the rubbish had gathered.”

The event proved so successful that they will be repeating it again later this summer.

“We’ll be doing it again before the football season kicks off in August,” Ged said.

Ged also got involved in another weekend litter pick with Beechland Community Group, who gathered lots of plastic bottles and chip cartons as they cleared up their estate. They are also planning to repeat the event in a couple of months.

Meanwhile, Lisburn Alliance Party councillor Jennifer Coulter expressed her support for the Big Spring Clean.

“As a member of the Environmental Services Committee, I actively support our council's efforts to clamp down on dog fouling, fly posting and other litter offences.

“Our cities, towns and villages should be admired and respected to the benefit of all,” she added.

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