Humphreys congratulates Carrickmacross Tidy Town Committee on new reverse vending machine and national award

October 1, 2019

Heather Humphreys, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, and Fine Gael TD for Cavan Monaghan has congratulated the Carrickmacross Tidy Town Committee on the launch of their new reverse vending machine. She also congratulated them on being awarded with a gold medal at the national Tidy Towns Competition 2019.

Minister Humphreys said:

I would like to start by acknowledging the huge impact that the Committee has had on the town since it was founded in 1985. In that time, thanks to the dedication of the local community, Carrick has been transformed beyond recognition. In the first year of the competition, you came in 437th place, among the untidiest towns in the country. This year, you came in the top 0.3% out of almost 900 entrants and won your eighth successive gold medal, so congratulations!

As welcome as the prizes are, however, the real reward is that the town always looks so well at any time of year. Your ongoing success is thanks in no small part to the Committee Members, and the wider group of local volunteers. Some of you have been involved since Day One, 34 years ago, and others have come on board down through the years. The consistent support for the initiative, right to the present day, is a testament to the community spirit here in Carrick.

But coming back to today - everybody will be aware that there has been a growing public interest in environmental issues in the last few years. There has also been an acknowledgment that we all have to play our part – Governments, businesses and citizens, in every part of the world – to mitigate the impacts of climate change.

“The Carrick Tidy Town Committee has been taking the lead at local level here in Ireland. You were ahead of the pack, deciding at an early stage that you would take a stand, and make a difference, by ‘doing your bit’ for the planet.

Last year, you spearheaded a wonderful initiative, working with local coffee shops to encourage people to adopt reusable coffee cups. This year, you really pushed the boat out, coming up with a hugely innovative idea, to deliver Ireland’s first ever reverse vending machine. If you want people to take action, you have to make it easy for them, and that is exactly what you are doing in Carrick.

It is a simple idea but a brilliant one, which will facilitate and incentivise people living locally to get on board with the fight against climate change, while also keeping the town tidy. As simple as the idea was, however, it wasn’t so simple to deliver – it took 18 months, in fact, and a huge team effort by the local community. There were a lot of bumps along the road, but in the end, perseverance won the day.

Sponsorship played a major part in the project, so I would like to take this opportunity to thank the partners involved. These include Shabra Plastics, Quinn Packaging, Monaghan County Council – particularly the Environmental Section – Tomra Machines, Celtic Pure, O'Gorman SuperValu and, of course, the wonderful Carrickmacross Tidy Town Committee. I would also like to give a special mention to Andrew Spare from the Committee, who initiated and drove the project.

Last but not least, I would like to thank the local community for embracing the project with open arms, and for working so hard to keep Carrick neat and tidy all year round. It is very clear to me that we have a model here that should be replicated right across the country. Without a doubt, you are trailblazers, and others would do well to follow your lead.”

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