A project developed by Cloughmills Community Action Team has been named as the first ever Northern Ireland winner of a prestigious Europe-wide award.

The ‘Library of Things’ scheme, where people can borrow DIY, household and gardening items instead of having to buy them, was selected in the Association/NGO category at the annual European Week for Waste Reduction (EWWR) awards ceremony, triumphing against thousands of other entries. 

EWWR aims to promote waste reduction and recycling among individuals, community groups, schools, businesses and public bodies. By setting up its unique library, Cloughmills Community Action Team was praised for challenging consumption habits and reducing the number of tools and appliances which ultimately end up in landfill sites.

Patrick Frew from Cloughmills Community Action Team receives the European Week for Waste Reduction (EWWR) award from the Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council Councillor Sean Bateson, Environmental Resources Officer Declan Donnelly and Dr Ian Garner from the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP).PICTURE STEVEN MCAULEY/MCAULEY MULTIMEDIA

The award winners were announced earlier this year in Brussels, and this week the Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council Councillor Sean Bateson visited the group to congratulate them on their success. 

Councillor Bateson said: “Council is very proud to work alongside Cloughmills Community Action Team to promote the importance of waste reduction and recycling. The group’s volunteers have consistently shown an innovative approach to creating more sustainable communities and they have now proved they are among the best in Europe. Well done to everyone who contributed to this outstanding success and I hope the Library of Things continues to make a positive impact on those who live in the area.” 

Patrick Frew from Cloughmills Community Action said: “Following its initial success, we are delighted at how our Library of Things has developed. Its membership continues to expand and we have a wide variety of useful items which residents can borrow. We wanted to reduce the continual demand to make purchases and we are very proud at what we have accomplished. To be selected for an EWWR award, out of over 14,000 entries, is a huge achievement for us. By working together, we have shown that this type of collaboration can help to create come content and fulfilled communities. During EWWR we also held a Skills Share event which brought members of the community together to learn how to make soup and bread. This proved to be extremely successful, with people of all ages and backgrounds taking part to develop new skills and build community spirit.” 

EWWR is coordinated in Northern Ireland by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP). Dr Ian Garner from WRAP said: ‘We congratulate Cloughmills Community Action on their innovative and award-winning Library of Things. We hope Cloughmills’ success will inspire individuals, schools, businesses and community groups in Northern Ireland to register their waste reduction action as part of EWWR 2019.” 

European Week for Waste Reduction will take place this year from November 16th – 24th. To find out more, including how to get involved, go to www.ewwr.eu/en

If you have a query about recycling you can contact the Environmental Resources team at Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council by emailing recycle@causewaycoastandglens.gov.uk or ring 028 2766 0248.

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