Details of Special Award for ‘Waters & Communities’ in this year’s National Tidy Towns Competition

TidyTowns Waters and Communities Special Award 2019
The Waters and Communities Special Award is now open for applications with a deadline of 17th May 2019. The Award is run in conjunction with SuperValu TidyTowns Awards.
The Waters and Communities Special Award 2019 aims to get communities more involved with the natural heritage in their local areas by helping to protect, maintain and improve the quality of local waterbodies . To be eligible for this award community groups must demonstrate an appreciation for their water environment and heritage with initiatives or projects during the timespan of June 2018 to May 2019.

Examples of community initiatives include:

clean ups; provision or upgrading of public amenities; conservation of biodiversity and heritage; promotion of angling; local education and awareness raising; etc).
The Waters and Communities Award was first introduced in 2017 and is now a regular feature in the TidyTowns calendar. Last year, the overall winner of the award was Abbey TidyTowns, Co. Galway. To read about previous winners of the Waters and Communities Special Awards see
All applications will be assessed by a panel of judges appointed by Inland Fisheries Ireland, Waterways Ireland and the Local Authority Waters Programme. The judges will assess each application for initiatives undertaken between June 2018 and May 2019 based on the following criteria:

1. Awareness raising (15 Marks)
2. Community involvement (20 Marks)
3. Stakeholder engagement (15 Marks)
4. Project benefits (40 Marks)
5. Lessons learned and plans for the future (10 Marks)

The Waters and Communities Award is open to any community group to apply and is sponsored by Inland Fisheries Ireland, Waterways Ireland and the Local Authority Waters Programme. The award has a total prize fund of €7,000. The overall winner is presented with prize money of €2,000 at the main TidyTowns awards ceremony. All other winners and runners up will be presented with prize money at the TidyTowns regional awards ceremonies.

The Application form and further details are available on the TidyTowns website .

Closing date for receipt of entries is 17th May 2019.
Best of luck everyone!


New project aims to reduce plastic use – looking for households and schools to work with

A new EPA funded initiative to reduce plastic use in homes and schools across Ireland is being launched by Voice, an environmental charity that aims to empower individuals and local communities to take positive action to conserve our natural resources. We are currently looking for individuals, households and schools to examine their plastic use and make small changes to reduce their plastic footprint!

The initiative uses citizen science to tackle plastic consumption in homes and schools. Citizen science involves research projects in which the public are directly engaged, gathering data and collaborating with scientists to a common end goal. The end goal is reduce our plastic consumption! It is a topic we feel strongly about here in Voice, and there is a growing discontent with plastic to be heard across the country. The next step is to move from discontent with the status quo to action! The citizen science project will enable people to take this step to change their plastic consumption. Through the initiative households and schools will be guided through using a plastic use audit to monitor the plastic in their lives. They can then sign up to plastic pledges each month to reduce their plastic consumption step by step, to make manageable and sustainable changes within their own lives. Does this interest you? If so give us a shout, we are looking for people to join us! To get involved in the project as an individual, household or school please email or see

Reminder: Tidy Towns conference Saturday 8th April in Castleblayney

**Note Venue change from initial notification of this event**

Monaghan County Council’s Environment Section is organising a conference for Tidy Towns groups on the SWRM category in the National Tidy Towns competition.

The Environment Section in Monaghan Co Co has been at the forefront of waste prevention nationally for the last 10 years, and will be sharing this expertise with groups locally, regionally and nationally.

There are easy marks to be picked up in this category in the National Tidy Towns competition.  Attending the conference in itself would be an action in itself which you could mention in your entry!

So please support.  Click here to register.

swrm-conference  swrm agenda


Network Meeting & Sustainable Waste Workshop 3rd March

The Spring meeting of the Network will take place on Tuesday 3rd March at 7.30pm in the YWCA building on the North Road, Monaghan town.

The earlier time is to facilitate the guest speaker, Debbie Nesbitt, a National Tidy Towns Adjudicator who has special expertise in the new Sustainable Waste Management category. Debbie will go through what the judges are looking for, and will then go through actual entry forms and make suggestions as to how the data on the form could be improved, as well as suggesting some actions groups could undertake to bring up their score in this category.

If you wish Debbie to look at your group’s entry form, please email the Sustainable Waste section to Carol Lambe by Friday 20th February, so that Debbie can take a look at it before the meeting.

Carol’s email address is

Public meeting – regional waste management plan – Dec 18th in Blayney

Launch of Draft Connacht – Ulster Regional Waste Management Plan 2015-2021 – The next challenge

Managing Waste in Ireland is now divided into three regions: Connacht Ulster, Southern, Eastern and Midlands. The preparation of new regional waste management plans for the regions has been underway since late 2013 following an evaluation of the previous plans which covered ten regions nationally.

The Connacht Ulster Waste Region consists of the administrative areas of the Galway City and counties Galway, Mayo, Roscommon, Sligo, Leitrim, Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan. The region represents 18% of the national population and has 36% of the land area.

The regional plan provides the framework for waste management for the next six years and sets out a range of policies and actions in order to meet the specified mandatory and performance targets.

The plan seeks to assist and support the community and local business to develop resource efficiency and waste prevention initiatives. A key plan target is to achieve a 1% reduction per annum in the quantity of household waste generated per capita over the period of the plan. In tandem the plan identifies measures to develop a circular economy where waste management initiatives stop being confined to treating and disposing of waste, instead supporting initiatives that value waste as a resource or potential raw material.

A national launch of the three regional waste management plans took place in Galway City Council offices on the 18th of November. The launch of the draft plans coincides with the commencement of the period of public consultation which will continue until the 30th January 2015.

Monaghan County Council wants to hear your views on the draft plan and about what more needs to be done. More information and the full plan are available on Also a public meeting and a presentation of the draft plan will be taking place in the Glencarn Hotel, Castleblayney on the 18th of December at 7.00pm.