THE numbers are huge, the aim is a noble one. 10,300 volunteers are expected to gather over 40,000 bags of rubbish across Limerick this Good Friday in a unique event, the largest single day clean-up in the country.
JP McManus said this week of the Team Limerick Clean-up event he dreamed up with Paul O’Connell and Helen O’Donnell that he was “overwhelmed with the incredible response” to the large scale anti-litter campaign, which he is sponsoring.
“We are really looking forward to getting out tomorrow to meet the many volunteers and also to take part in the clean-up in my own home town,” said the Martinstown philanthropist, who will be in the city this Friday morning to start the clean-up, along with the Irish rugby captain and legendary jockey Tony McCoy.
“Another important aspect of this event is the post clean-up activity where all the participants will re-group afterwards for a well-deserved cup of tea and chat in their local community,” he said, noting further that, “in recognition of all the hard work, we will be producing a commemorative TLC book featuring the names of every volunteer”.
“This will be an historic archive detailing the first ever Limerick Clean-up and hopefully, the start of many more to come,” he said.
Paul O’Connell, the ambassador for the event, said it had “created a healthy discussion about the importance of looking after your community, taking pride in your area and how litter picking plays a huge part in this. It’s great to be involved in a clean-up initiative which is inclusive of everyone throughout the community,” he said. “Even my four-year-old son, Paddy, can’t wait to wear his own hi-vis jacket and gloves and join up with our neighbours to do our own clean-up tomorrow.”
JP described the book detailing the event as “an historic archive”, adding: “We are asking all volunteers to free-text the letters ‘TLC’ with their full name and address to: 50123.”
There is a major social dimension to the day also, with a tea and coffee morning also to take place after the clean-up. But the refuse collection is central to the day and Mr Binman is managing the logistics, with six crews working on the day to collect the rubbish at designated points.
“We are expecting somewhere in the region of about 40,000 bags,” said Joe Cleary of Mr Binman. “We are fairly confident that Limerick will be the tidiest county in Ireland come Saturday morning.
Mayor Kevin Sheahan, said the support for the project “underlines the huge pride of place and sense of community that the people of Limerick have”.