PURE Mile Volunteers Collect Tonnes of Rubbish

Friends of the South Dublin Uplands

The environment/community/heritage initiative, The Pure Mile, which encourages communities and groups living in rural areas of Wicklow, South Dublin, and Dun-Laoghaire, to adopt a mile, or miles of road, and organise litter picks, clean-ups, and work together to keep these areas litter and rubbish free, have collected tonnes of litter and illegal dumping from the beautiful, scenic, South Dublin Uplands.

Due to the hard work, determination, commitment, energy and enthusiasm, of the Pure Mile Groups, there has been a visible decrease in litter and rubbish in the South Dublin Uplands.  There are now over 1,000 miles of road, mountains, woodlands, valleys, forestries and upland amenities, signed up to the 2023 Pure Mile, the largest number ever since the initiative began.  Thousands of litter picks and clean-ups undertaken by Pure Mile volunteers, ranging from individuals, family groups, community groups, walking groups, cycling groups, running groups, hiking groups, scouts, beavers, primary schools, businesses, and organisations, have removed hundreds of tonnes of illegally dumped waste and thousands of bags of litter and rubbish from the Wicklow/Dublin Uplands since the initiative was started in 2010.  The success of the Pure Mile demonstrates the importance and necessity of the initiative and the need for continued collaboration and engagement to protect the South Dublin Upland environment.    

The South Dublin Uplands is a unique landscape and environment and although Pure has removed tonnes of illegal dumping from this beautiful scenic landscape, they only have one truck and one driver, so they are unable to remove the unsightly small-scale litter from the area.  The Pure Mile Groups make a huge difference to the appearance of the South Dublin Uplands and Pure would like to congratulate all of the Pure Mile Volunteers involved.  Pure want to engage with all types of groups and businesses who are interested in ‘Cleaning-Up The South Dublin Uplands’ and they will assist in any way they can.

It is also worth noting that the majority of the uplands in South Dublin are of environmental significance, and part of the Wicklow Mountains National Park.  It’s an area of both Irish and European significance and protected under the European Habitats Directive as a Special Area of Conservation.  Pure Mile Volunteers have commented to Pure that the majority of the litter in the South Dublin Uplands consisted of, cans, bottles, wrappers and plastic, predominantly located at viewing points and pull-ins, no doubt discarded there by people enjoying the scenic landscape and tranquil beauty of the area.  Because of the enthusiasm, energy, and commitment, of the Pure Mile Volunteers Pure have noticed a considerable improvement in the areas adopted by Pure Mile Groups.

Illegal dumping in the wicklow dublin uplands

Ian Davis, manager of Pure commented ‘The Pure Mile was established in 2010 and the project has grown from 5 miles to over 1,000 miles this year.  Now that all Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted we are able to organise large scale clean-ups of the Wicklow/Dublin Uplands and we have seen an increase in people getting involved.  Since Covid-19 people have become much more aware of the amount of litter and rubbish on roadside verges, hedges, and drains and they want to do something about it.  Pure Mile groups are contacting us every day to organise litter picks and clean-ups, 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 South Dublin Uplands and we would like to thank all of them in assisting us to Clean-Up The South Dublin Uplands.’

Over 50 litter picks, clean-ups, anti-dumping initiatives, have already taken place in the 2022/2023 Pure Mile in the South Dublin Uplands and almost all roads in the South Dublin Uplands are being adopted by Pure Mile Groups.  These groups are extremely busy ‘Cleaning-Up The South Dublin Uplands’ with Roads, Car Parks, Amenity Areas, Upland Trails, Mountain Trails, Woodlands and Forest Entrances, being adopted.  Pure are organising events in areas that are frequently affected by illegal dumping and litter including, Glenasmole Road, Cunard Road, Piperstown Road, Glassamucky Road, Castle Kelly Road, Ballymorefinn, Kilakee Road, Cruagh Road, The White Road, Stone Cross, Black Hill, Seehan and all sections of the R115 Military Road.  Further Pure Mile litter picks, clean-ups, anti-dumping initiatives, community projects, biodiversity, and heritage projects, are currently being organised throughout the year.

Pure Mile Groups involved in this Pure Mile in the South Dublin Uplands, include, Trekkers Walking Group, Glencree Walking Group, Atha Cliath Uplands Clean-Up Team, Bog Trotters Walking Group, Wayfarers Walking Group, Cruagh Walking Group, Friends of the South Dublin Uplands, Glenasmole/Cunard Pure Mile, Gunny Hill Pure Mile, Windmill Hill Rathcoole Pure Mile, Irish Mountain Running Association, and more people are expressing an interest in getting involved.  It is estimated that the Pure Truck removed approximately 26,000 kilograms (26 tonnes) of waste, rubbish, litter, illegal dumping, from South Dublin Uplands in 2022, and a considerable amount of this was collected/gathered by Pure Mile Groups.

Pure supply all groups with Pure Mile Signs, Pure Mile Bags, Pure Mile High-Vis Vests, litter pickers and gloves, and the Pure Truck collects all rubbish and litter gathered by groups.  All groups who register with the Pure Mile are invited to the Pure Mile Gala Evening Awards Night, and all receive a Certificate of Participation, a selection of Native Irish Trees, and all feature in the Pure Mile Calendar.

Pure are looking for groups, communities, individuals, schools, walking groups, cycling groups, running groups, scouts, businesses, organisations, EVERYONE, to get involved in the Pure Mile by adopting an upland area in the South Dublin Uplands.  All groups who enter will be included in the ‘Clean-Up The Uplands’ Award category and all are in with a chance of winning €500.  People can contact Pure at info@pureproject.ie or download an application from www.pureproject.ie/what-we-do/the-pure-mile/.  You can also write to; Pure Project, Unit 6 B, Riverside Business Centre, Tinahely, Co Wicklow, Y14 R978, and they will post out all the information, or request an application form and information pack by phoning Pure on 0402 28662.

Pure is the first initiative of its kind in Ireland incorporating statutory and non-statutory organisations and stakeholders, including, the Department of Environment, Climate, and Communications, Wicklow County Council, South Dublin County Council, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, Coillte, National Parks & Wildlife Service, and the Wicklow Uplands Council.  This unique partnership initiative was established to combat illegal dumping in the Wicklow/Dublin Uplands and was officially launched in September 2006.

Further information on Pure can be found on www.pureproject.ie


Picture of Sarah Brooks

Sarah Brooks

Sarah has worked in marketing and content creation for many years. In her role at Newsgroup, she is the online editor of www.newsgroup.ie with a particular interest in local news and events. Sarah also works closely with our editorial team on our printed editions in Tallaght, Lucan, Clondalkin and Rathcoole/Saggart. If you have a story and would like to make contact please email Sarah at info@newsgroup.ie.



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