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  • Southside

Environmental group aims to clean up Whitestown Stream

Thursday, 14th March, 2019 1:00pm
Environmental group aims to clean up Whitestown Stream

Members of the group pictured with some of the rubbish collected from the stream.

Environmental group aims to clean up Whitestown Stream

Members of the group pictured with some of the rubbish collected from the stream.

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Gabija Gataveckaite

An environmental group has called illegal dumping at rivers and streams a “medieval approach” to rubbish disposal.

Dodder Action, a group of volunteers dedicated to cleaning up the Southside river and its tributaries, have set themselves a challenge in cleaning up the Whitestown Stream in Tallaght.

The river is heavily littered from illegal dumping and volunteers find all sorts of rubbish in the water, including electrical goods and nappies.

“It’s so bad that one of our volunteers has nicknamed it the ‘bottle swamp’,” said organiser Wladek Gaj.

“We find everything from nappies to rotting food, to mobile phones - everything you can think of. When we find electrical stuff, it’s ridiculous because 
shops will take it for 
free.”

“Dumping rubbish in the stream is a medieval approach,” he added.

While copious amounts of rubbish submerged in a nearby river may be an eyesore, Gaj emphasised that the wildlife also suffers.

“The tragic part is that habitats are being destroyed,” he said. “We found frogs under the rubbish the other week, which are protected under EU law, struggling to survive.

“We want to educate people not to do it and have some empathy for the environment,” he stated.

He added that South Dublin County Council have been great in helping out with the clean ups.

“The council are excellent in working with us,” he revealed. “They get us the bags to put the rubbish into and then collect them when we’re done. The clean ups really have to come from grassroots groups, so we need more people and more volunteers helping us out.”

While the group normally focuses on the River Dodder and its tributaries, it recently made the decision to shift its focus solely to the Whitestown Stream.

“About a month ago, we saw the condition of the stream and knew it couldn’t wait any longer,” Gaj explained.

The group now spends two hours every second weekend cleaning up the stream.

The Whitestown Stream enters the Dodder, which then flows into the Liffey and eventually into the Irish Sea.

There is a shameful amount of litter dumped in the stream.

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