26 October 2018

Meet Our Recycling Ambassadors

Meet Our Recycling Ambassadors

Clodagh Kelly - Regional Liaison Officer for Eastern Midlands

"Hi, I’m Clodagh and I joined the VOICE team last February. I am the Regional Liaison Officer with the Recycling Ambassador Programme covering the Eastern Midlands Region and I oversee a team of 9 amazing ambassadors, who are hosting recycling workshops all over Leinster.  

So far, we have had a great response to our recycling workshops and have come across so many amazing groups who are passionate about rethinking their waste. Dublin has been a hub of activity for us and we have hit a wide range of groups, from local environmental gatherings, nursing homes, tidy towns and community groups. More recently business groups have become very engaged with our programme and it is refreshing to see so many people willing to change their behaviours when it comes to recycling - once they have the information. I am currently planning an open event for business groups as part of the European Week of Waste Reduction this coming November with the Conscious Cup Campaign.  

If your business group is interested in attending this free event, you can register here via Eventbrite.

Over the summer months we attended some fantastic festivals including Meath, Offaly, Louth, Wicklow and Laois. Our aim was to impart our recycling message through meaningful engagement with festival goers, young and old. We continue to do this through our recycling workshops, our main message is to reduce contamination and increase recycling rates in Ireland. The main takeaway to remember is ‘ if you are in doubt, then throw it out!’ Better to use your general waste bin, so as not to contaminate other clean recycling materials.  

When it comes to festivalsTriona has become our resident recycling ambassador and most recently we had the pleasure of attending Airfields festival of food with over 14K people, which took place during Zero Waste Week. It is refreshing to see that Airfield is starting to create a space to positively promote sustainable solutions and introduce others to alternative lifestyles that are planet friendly. We were in great company that weekend with groups like; Zero Waste Festival, Stop Food Waste, Cloth Nappy Library, Falling Fruit Ireland and Seastainability which is a great initiative run by one of our own ambassadors Rebecca Flanagan. 

 This autumn, we have been working hard to expand our reach and have facilitated training workshops to willing student groups in Universities, who will then pass on the message and educate their peers around household recycling. Our hope is that for each person we engage with through our face to face workshops, that the message will have a knock-on effect and reach into the home of a workshop participant. Most recently we had great fun working with the Regional Waste Authorities Recycling List Ireland stand at the National Ploughing Championship. The new Recycling List is a great resource to help people manage recycling waste - if it’s not on the list, then it is not for the recycling bin. However we would always encourage people to think about how they could reduce and reuse items first and recycle after.

Personally, I am so glad that I joined this recycling initiative as my experience so far has been most rewarding and anything but ordinary. I get to meet so many inspiring people in a variety of communities. Even though everyday is different for me as a liaison officer, our message remains the same  -  Clean, Loose & Dry."

Clodagh is also an Eco-Entrepreneur and has just launched her own sustainable fashion business called Swapsies - check it out!

Image: Clodagh on far right, with some of her team members.