Half a tonne of rubbish cleared from Larne Lough

Volunteers with some of the bags of rubbish collected from around Larne Lough. INLT-03-702-con
Volunteers with some of the bags of rubbish collected from around Larne Lough. INLT-03-702-con

Volunteers cleared an impressive 93 bin bags of rubbish weighing around half a tonne from Larne Lough in just two hours at the weekend.

The mammoth litter pick took place days after volunteers removed a further 53 bags of rubbish from the lough, meaning that in total 146 bags of waste have been removed from the site recently.

The operations were spearheaded by Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, who joined forces with local residents and River Ridge Recycling.

Mid and East Antrim Council also provided bin bags and litter pickers.

Local photographer Gavin Ferguson, who volunteered at the clean-up, stated: “We had 20 people working together and in two hours we had collected 93 bin bags.

“We found some crazy things like Christmas decorations, household products, shopping trolleys, and full-length wing mirrors and door panels from lorries.

“There were also a lot of bottles filled with urine, which was a bit grim.

“No-one is taking ownership of the lough at the minute, but we are hoping to do another clean-up soon and raise awareness so we get more volunteers from the local area.”

Donna Rainey of Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful hailed the recent litter pick as a “great success”

“It was a massive effort, we are planning to do more and obviously there is still a lot more to do but we are getting a good response and people want to get involved.

“Even if people wanted to come down and tidy away one bin bag each it would make a difference.

“There is still a lot of stuff which didn’t get taken away and across the Harbour Highway is antpther area which needs to be tidied.

“It was quite frustrating to see more bottles coming in from the river as we were tidying, and the message needs to go out to people to wise up and stop throwing bottles and rubbish down and assuming someone will clean it up.

“There needs to be more education through schools, this can’t go on, all the rubbish heads straight to Larne Lough.

“Do we want it to look like that or do we want it to be good and clean for people to use?”