A LOCAL councillor is working to make two of Newbridge’s municipal headaches – graffiti and litter – more manageable by focussing them to a centralised place, with varying degrees of success so far.
Cllr Chris Pender has called on Kildare Co Council to look in to the possibility of setting up a legal graffiti wall in the town “similar to the Wildstyle Shop wall in Berlin”, as well as following Naas’s lead on recyclable litter by installing their very own reverse vending machine in the town.
However, the setting up of such a graffiti wall may need a little more preparation, according to the county’s Arts Officer, Lucinda Russell.
“In my opinion it would be more advantageous to work with the Joint Policing Committee (JPC) to identify a group of individuals who are engaged in graffiti or at risk of anti-social behaviour in a project around street art, with an established street artist,” she said.
“This would not necessarily lead to a graffiti wall, as the emphasis would be process [rather than location] based,” she explained.
“The establishment of such a wall should be discussed with the Urban Regeneration team for Newbridge, the local Tidy Towns committee and other interested parties,” she told Cllr Pender.
With regard to the reverse vending machine, the Executive believes the idea “has merit”, but asked the councillor to wait and see how the one agreed for Naas gets used, and then plan accordingly.
In January the councillors in Naas agreed to allocate €20,000 of Local Property Tax (LPT) funds for such a machine, designed to reward those who return aluminium cans or plastic bottles with either a modest stipend, or voucher – a bit like we did with our large fizzy drink bottles back 20th century.
This reverse recycling technology was first trialled in Germany a few years ago, and was deemed so successful there are now over 80,000 worldwide.
The first one in Ireland was installed in Carrickmacross in Co Monaghan in September, however no figures on its usage have been made available yet, a point Ken Kavanagh from the Environment Section was stressing to Cllr Pender when suggesting the “wait and see” policy before committing a large portion of LPT funds on such a machine.
“There are issues of cost, storage and location to be considered,” said Mr Kavanagh, “and it may be beneficial for the members to await the outcome of the [Naas] pilot scheme”.