Visible increase in litter in county Wicklow


The environment/community initiative, the Pure Mile, which encourages communities and groups living in rural areas to adopt a mile a road, or miles of road, and work together to keep these areas litter and rubbish free, are reporting a visible increase in litter in county Wicklow. 

In March, the Pure Truck removed over 20 tonnes of rubbish from Wicklow/Dublin uplands. The majority of this litter and rubbish was collected by Pure Mile Volunteers from hundreds of roads, verges, drains and ditches in rural Wicklow.  There are now over 800 miles or roads, mountains, woodlands, valleys, and upland amenities, signed up to the 2021 Pure Mile Project, the largest number ever since the project began.

Over 500 litter picks/clean-ups, undertaken by Pure Mile Groups (individuals and family units, all following Covid-19 guidelines) have already taken place, with over 2,000 bags of litter, rubbish, and dumping, removed from the Wicklow/Dublin environment, all by thousands of Pure Mile Volunteers.  In some instances, recent clean-ups by Pure Mile groups resulted in the collection of over 120 bags of rubbish from just one area.  Other discarded material included, tyres, batteries, mattresses, radios, hovers, TV’s, cables, piping, furniture, chairs, bedframes, building materials, toys, prams, suitcases, buckets, bikes, and much more, with each Pure Mile clean-up making a huge difference to the Wicklow environment.  Pure Mile groups are also contacting Pure to report illegal dumping sites that they locate on the landscape during their litter picks, and Pure are collaborating with Wicklow County Council to investigate sites for evidence, prior to Pure truck removal.

Ian Davis, manager of Pure commented,

‘The Pure Mile was established in 2010 and the project has grown from 5 miles to over 800 miles this year.  With Covid-19 we have seen an increase in people reconnecting with the area they live in, walking their local roads, rediscovering their natural environment, and becoming aware of the amount of litter and rubbish on roadside verges, hedges, and drains.  Pure Mile groups are now contacting us every day to organise litter picks and the Pure truck has been extremely busy collecting the rubbish on a daily basis, ensuring that no bags are left on the landscape.  It’s amazing the amount of litter and rubbish the Pure Mile Volunteers are removing from the Garden of Ireland, and I would like to thank them and congratulate them for their dedication in Cleaning Up The Uplands.’

Further Pure Mile litter picks, clean-ups, anti-dumping initiatives, community projects, biodiversity, and heritage projects, are currently being organised throughout the year.

Pure provide all groups with Pure Mile signage, Pure Mile bags, gloves, litter pickers and Pure Mile high-vis vests, and they also remove all of the rubbish collected by the groups. 

All groups who enter the Pure Mile are invited to the Pure Mile Gala Event, and all receive a Certificate of Participation, a selection of Native Irish Trees, and all groups feature in the Pure Mile Calendar.

Registration for the 2022 Pure Mile will open again in November 2021.  Further information on Pure can be found on


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