Eco Rangers Larne tackle unsightly rubbish in lough
Members of Eco Rangers Larne have taken to the shoreline in recent weeks to remove unsightly litter and fly tipping.
A range of items have been pulled from the water, including over 50 shopping trolleys, 25 road cones and over 40 tyres.
Mid and East Antrim Borough Council have supported the group through active promotion of their activities, provision of litter-picking equipment and collection of items retrieved.
The Eco Rangers Larne was established in October 2020, with a small handful of like-minded people wanting to clean up the town and surrounding areas, to remove polluting litter and to leave the area clean, welcoming and enjoyable for residents and tourists.
The group have gone from strength to strength, and now have over 400 members, including over 100 junior Eco Rangers.
Abe Agnew, founder, has led from the front, bringing this impressive network of volunteers together to remove thousands of bags of litter from Larne town and surrounding areas.
The movement has inspired others in the towns of Ballymena and Carrickfergus to establish a similar group.
Smaller groups branching out from Eco Rangers Larne have also been set up in the villages of Carnlough, Glenarm and Gleno/Raloo, to name a few.
The group has also inspired people in other Council areas, including the North Coast World Earth Eco Rangers in Portrush.
The most recent Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful street cleansing survey, for January – March 2021, noted a marked improvement in the cleanliness of the Mid and East Antrim borough, compared to July – September 2020.
It is hoped that more targeted education addressing the issues of littering, along with the volunteer effort, has helped to reduce the levels of litter.
Councillor Danny Donnelly, a member of the group, said: “I would like to thank Abe and all the Eco Rangers for the huge amount of work they have put in over the last year and are continuing to do on a daily basis. They have made a big difference across the whole area.
“Litter has been a problem for many years and it’s great to see so many people coming together to be part of the solution. I would encourage anyone to get involved.”
The group’s determination and dedication to keeping the area clean and litter-free has not gone unnoticed.
Residents have commented on the tremendous effort; the group’s Facebook page has been alight with positive comments, thanking them for their hard work and dedication; and broadcast media outlets have highlighted the Eco Rangers’ work.
Looking forward, the group plan to ramp up their engagement with the local communities, to educate people about the effects of littering and to promote civic pride in the area.
If you are interested in becoming an Eco Ranger in the Larne area, please email Abe at [email protected]