Week 1 - Green Aware Sligo Campaign Launched

Green Aware Sligo Campaign Launched

A new awareness campaign this Summer will encourage households in Sligo to lead the way in relation to low impact waste disposal. Green Aware Sligo aims to guide individuals and businesses through a series of steps to become more waste-aware, and this in turn will help reduce our carbon footprint.

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Running with the tag line ‘Our County, Our Responsibility’, the campaign will identify the common mistakes people make when segregating or disposing of their waste, and provide them with quick and efficient solutions.

“This is a Sligo County Council initiative and it’s very encouraging to have the support of Central Government and the Regional Waste Enforcement Office,” says Siobhán Gillen, Environment Administrative Officer with Sligo County Council. “How we dispose of waste is becoming such a huge problem worldwide, but to address this at a local level, we all need to change our habits. Through this programme, Sligo can lead the way for the rest of the country.”

Each week the campaign will focus on a topic which impacts directly on the environment such as illegal dumping, recycling, composting and green business initiatives, providing a range of useful tips to encourage us all to change our habits.

The extensive campaign will use video, social media, web, print and radio each week to focus on a key topic, to discuss the impact it has on our community and to offer solutions.

Throughout July and August, each week a Green Aware Sligo article will appear in local newspaper The Sligo Champion, along with an interview on Ocean FM, and a series of social media posts including viral video, all of which will help consumers.

“For example, in week 1 we will target illegal dumping, describing to the public the impact that this practice has on our environment, and the steps we need to take to help address this problem,” says Siobhán. “From there we switch to areas like the burning of waste, what you can recycle for free, how to dispose of hazardous waste, making it clearer for the consumer to understand and providing step-by-step measures to help us all.”

While the promotional campaign has the aim of educating the public and improving our waste disposal habits, it will also focus on people who ignore the law, primarily in relation to the unregulated disposal of waste. The ‘man in the van’ who offers to collect your waste may often dispose of it illegally, however it’s important to note that it’s the household who bears responsibility for this illegal dumping, and this can lead to a fine and potential court summons.

The campaign is running in parallel with the Household Waste Management Compliance Through Eircodes Investigation, which aims to target those responsible for illegal dumping. Last year alone, Sligo County Council spent in excess of €50k cleaning up illegal dump sites in the county. While some householders inadvertently contribute to this problem through using unregistered waste collectors, it is only by using any of the 5 approved waste collectors listed on www.sligococo.ie/greenaware that you can be sure that your waste is being disposed of correctly.

“We have a huge amount to offer as a county,” says Siobhán. “But for tourists and local people to see an illegal dump site along a scenic rural road, for example, is wrong on every level. It’s also completely unsustainable in terms of clean up costs. We have to change how we manage and dispose of our waste, and everyone has a part to play.”

As part of this initiative, each household is asked to provide their waste collector with their Eircode, to enable the County Council’s Waste Enforcement Officers to determine the amount of homes in Sligo that are not managing their waste in an environmentally sound manner. Once your Eircode is accounted for, this will exclude your household from the Local Authorities investigations into identifying households who remain non compliant with waste legislation.  In line with data protection, the provision of your Eircode will only be used for the purpose of household accountability for waste management.

For further information on how to correctly manage your domestic waste, please visit www.sligococo.ie/greenaware.

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This pilot initiative is being supported and funded by the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment and the Connacht Ulster WERLA Office (Waste Enforcement Regional Lead Authority)