90 Transition Year from St. Colman’s College, Midleton stepped up to a rather intriguing challenge recently and got to work on a 1.2 km stretch on two major beaches.
The students removed a whopping five tonnes of rubbish from the beaches of Ballybranagan and Ballycroneen, in East Cork, Irish Examiner reported.
The large-scale beach clean-up initiative was part of their involvement in An Taisce’s Clean Coasts programme.
The students were successful in gathering 75 tyres, 117 bags of rubbish and industrial fishing equipment including nets and gear along Ballybranagan beach.
There was later invention from Cork County Council with officials responsible for the removal of the items in question.
Work on Ballycroneen beach was next to follow, with an additional 137 bags of rubbish, 39 tyres more fishing equipment and a fridge-freezer with Chinese labels collected.
Their trek around the two beaches concluded with the collection of 114 tyres and 254 bags of rubbish.
Council workers discarded or recycled the items discovered by the second-level students.
The school is one of many leading ‘green’ ambassadors and was named An Taisce’s Ocean Hero School of the year in both 2015/2016 and 2016/2017.
Clean Coasts co-ordinator and teacher Proinsias Ó Tuama told Irish Examiners that the groups have intentions to return in order to retrieve at least five more tyres which were inaccessible because of the tide.
Council workers removed all the waste for disposal or recycling yesterday.
Sinead McCoy, coastal communities manager with An Taisce’s environmental education unit, described the tyre haul as “unprecedented” from such a short stretch of coastline and she spoke to Irish Times about the case,
“In the vast majority of cases it was one tyre. In a couple of cases, multiple tyres were found on the beach,” Ms McCoy told Irish Times.
“This situation in East Cork is not indicative of all beaches. This was obviously a blackspot area. The students identified it as a problem area and they have really tackled it. They’ve gone above and beyond the call of duty.” She added,
Ms Mc. Coy stressed the importance of encouraging more Clean Coast groups to participate.
Denis Naughten acknowledged the student’s efforts
The students received a tweet of support from Environment Minister Denis Naughten tweeted a message of support to the students.
A regulatory system for disposal of “end-of-life” tyres has been introduced and is in effect since Sunday.