18 July 2018

Meet Our Recycling Ambassadors

Meet Our Recycling Ambassadors

Tad - Regional Liaison for Southern Recycling Ambassadors

Tad Kirakowski is a graduate in Environmental Science with over 10 years experience in the design and roll out of Environmental Education Programmes. He brings a strong background in both the conservation and community development to the Recycling Ambassador Programme.

"If you’re in the south and you’ve hosted a RAP workshop, or you’ve contacted someone about a RAP workshop, chances are, you and I have talked!

Back in October I took on the role of Regional Liaison Officer with VOICE for the Southern Region. At the time I thought it would be an interesting job, but as with all new roles it’s hard to imagine what it’s going to be like until you've hit the ground! As regional Liaison it’s my job to be the primary contact point and to coordinate the workshops that are taking place across Munster plus Carlow, Wexford and Kilkenny.  

This means that I spend a great deal of my time talking to representatives from community groups, businesses, festivals, and clubs everywhere from East Cork to Lisdoonvarna arranging for an ambassador to come and help them get their recycling sorted or to help spread the message to their community.  Occasionally, I get let loose to present workshops myself as well, such as with the Department of Communications, Climate Action and the Environment in Wexford last month. But for the most part, I leave the workshops to the professionals and concentrate on the coordinating.  

The first thing that became obvious in this role, was the real appetite out there by people for this sort of programme. It seems that the confusion around what could and could not go into the recycling bin has been a real sticking point for people all over the country, and having a single clear message and someone to talk to about it has been greatly and avidly received. For my own part, it’s really made me think about the resources I use. I’ve decided to take part in a plastic free July - getting coffee ground up and put into my own jar was a great find.

But the thing they don’t tell you about this job at the start (the hidden gem) is that in this role I get to hear about all the actions (big and small) that are being taken across the region. Whether it’s the individual in an office who sends you an email saying "It drives me mad that this place doesn’t recycle right and I want to make a change!", the local shop that has opened a ‘refill station’ (The Olive branch in Clonakilty, and it’s spin off, Twig Refill Station), or a group like Tramore Eco Group getting a giant plastics only bin for Tramore beach, to help keep recyclable plastic out of the regular bins and still campaigning to do more.  

I speak to, and occasionally get interviewed by, engaged people representing communities and businesses everywhere, and that sort of interest and excitement is infectious!"

Pictured: Tad on right with recycling ambassador Dan Boyle to the left.