Catchment News

Dublin Community Clean-Up Day 2019: from our mountains to our coasts

| in 2nd Cycle 2016-2021, News, Stories

The annual Dublin Community Clean Up Day is going from strength to strength. It is a partnership that now covers more than 180 locations, with over 1500 volunteers taking part in April 2019. Thomas Carolan, Community Water Officer for Dublin, tells us all about it…

On Saturday 27 April 2019, communities from Dublin came together to partake in the biggest clean-up of our streets, rivers, canals and beaches. With over 180 registered locations throughout the county this was a celebration of dedicated volunteers and an opportunity to showcase the great work being carried out across Dublin and beyond all year long in the protection and improvement of our environment.

This year a steering group with representatives from the Dublin Local Authorities (Dublin City Council, Fingal County Council, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council and South Dublin County Council), Clean Coasts, National Spring Clean, LAWPRO and established voluntary groups Dublin Clean Canals & Dodder Action collaborated to build and further develop the success of action days in 2018 and bring about Dublin Community Clean-up Day 2019. This involved volunteers, agencies and communities working together and making a concerted effort to tackle litter and environmental degradation.

A Royal Canal Clean Up Group at North Strand

This more integrated and collaborative approach in 2019 reaped huge dividends with over 1500 volunteers taking part and thousands of bags of waste being collected on the day despite inclement weather conditions. Some groups carried out clean-ups in the following weeks due to high winds giving rise to a further 200 volunteers partaking and another 300 bags of waste collected in the River Dodder Catchment. The relentless positivity of our citizens protecting and enhancing our environs far outshine the burden of littering and fly-tipping by those few individuals who have a blatant disregard for our environment and continue to litter.

Clean-ups took place in our coastal areas, on our rivers, in our villages and neighbourhoods throughout the county. The event provided an opportunity for existing groups to build capacity and entice new members to get involved but it also offered a platform to activate new community clean-ups in several locations.

Dodder Action, Firhouse Volunteers on River Dodder

This inaugural event was a perfect occasion to commend and highlight the vast year-round work being carried out by volunteer groups such as Tidy Towns, residents groups, youth groups and various voluntary organisations from across Dublin. The event also promoted and educated the wider community about social responsibility through visibility and presence in our parks, our streets and our waters. As one resident commented their village was “awash with pink jackets”, another observed on the “army of yellow vests”, all playing their part with great enthusiasm and dedication.

An enormous thank you to everyone who freely give up their time and to all the agencies who supported & promoted the event, without you this event would not have been possible. A special word of thanks to the Local Authorities who provided the necessary equipment and waste collection. Clean-ups will take place throughout the year in various locations across the county, so please contact your local community group, Local Authority, Community Water Officer or An Taisce if you would like to get involved and continue to #KeepDublinBeautiful. We of course will endeavour to build upon this year’s success and passion as we look towards next year’s event in 2020.

Thomas Carolan, Dublin Community Water Officer, LA Waters Programme

Learn more:

Friends of the Camac and Clondalkin Tidy Towns

Who is involved?

Quite simply, everyone in Ireland has a role to play. This can be from something as simple as making sure you don’t pollute your local stream, or a local community working together to establish a Rivers Trust to enhance the rivers and lakes in their area, to a Government Department or Agency helping a Minister implement a new policy to help protect and enhance all our water bodies.

This website has been developed and is maintained by the Environmental Protection Agency, and is a collaboration between the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Local Authority Waters Programme.


Local Authority Waters Programme

The Local Authority Waters Programme coordinates the efforts of local authorities and other public bodies in the implementation of the River Basin Management Plan, and supports local community and stakeholder involvement in managing our natural waters, for everyone’s benefit.


Environmental Protection Agency

The EPA is responsible for coordinating the monitoring, assessment and reporting on the status of our 4,842 water bodies, looking at trends and changes, determining which waterbodies are at risk and what could be causing this, and drafting environmental objectives for each.


Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage

The Department is responsible for making sure that the right policies, regulations and resources are in place to implement the Water Framework Directive, and developing a River Basin Management Plan and Programme of Measures to protect and restore our waters.