Web Administrator Wed 27 May 2015 updated: Fri 05 Feb 2016
On Sunday 12th April the village of Moneyglass came alive with volunteers eager to clean up 'their stretch of road' as part of the annual BIG Spring Clean.
Around 100 local families turned out in force to participate in the 4th Annual "BIG Spring Clean" organised by St Ergnats GAC. Families and volunteers came together at St Ergnats club house, to collect equipment which was kindly donated by the new Mid & East Antrim Borough Council, Antrim & Newtownabbey Borough Council and Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful.
The major clean-up commenced at 2pm, in a well co-ordinated manner. Each group continued collecting the roadside litter until 4pm, when a team of volunteer drivers collected almost 400 bags of litter and brought them back to the collection point at St Ergnats club grounds, to be collected by Antrim & Newtownabbey Borough Council the following day.
The event finished at 4pm with a well deserved cup of tea and refreshments in the club rooms, where everyone came together to reflect on what was described by all as a hugely successful community event.
Des Taggart, co-ordinator of St Ergnats BIG Spring Clean team, said "I am delighted with the huge support for our 4th Annual BIG Spring Clean year. This is such an important event in our community calendar; it not only helps improve the appearance of our local area but will hopefully educate everyone not to spoil the local countryside. I continue to be astonished by the large turnout of volunteers, most of whom were young kids, who collected a staggering 400 bags of rubbish.'
In total almost 20 miles of local roads were cleaned as part of the event. These included Roguery Road, Ballymatoskerty Road, Crosskeys Road, Moss Road, Loup Road, Cloghogue Road, Brecart Road, Loughbeg Road, Ballyscullion Road, Taylorstown Road, Grange Road, Culnafay Road, Duneane Road and Doone Road. There were some common items found during the clean-up such as fast food containers and energy drinks containers, however some of the strange items included traffic cones, a television, a hoover and numerous other household items.
Nicola Murray, Community Development Officer from Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful said, "It is great to see so many people turn out for such a worthwhile community event, the BIG Spring Clean has become a regular date in the calendar for St Ergnats GAC with the numbers involved increasing year on year; however, it is sad to say that the amount of litter also increases. This community show real pride for where they come from spreading the Live Here Love Here message through their actions, they are already planning their BIG Spring Clean 2016."
Antrim & Newtownabbey Borough Council kindly collected all the refuse bags the following day, and later confirmed that the roadside mess from the Moneyglass BIG Spring Clean amounted to a massive 2.3 tonnes in weight, which was quite an incredible effort, from all of the volunteers who participated. In total, the Moneyglass volunteers have collected approx 6.8 tonnes of roadside rubbish over the past 4 years.
St Ergnats GAC would like to thank every family in the community who participated in the BIG Spring Clean and especially the main sponsor (Boyds Service Stations) and all the caterers, litter collectors, organising committee, photographers and drivers who made the day so successful. We would also thank Cllr Henry Cushinan and Cllr Brian Duffin of Antrim & Newtownabbey Borough Council who came along last Sunday to support the event.
If you would like to learn more about the BIG Spring Clean or to show that you Live Here and Love Here please visit http://www.liveherelovehere.org or contact Nicola Murray at firstname.lastname@example.org.