Local Weather

Mostly sunny
real feel: -1°C
wind speed: 0 m/s W
sunrise: 6:34 am
sunset: 6:44 pm


Composting & Anaerobic Waste Digestion Welcomed

EPA welcomes increase in composting and anaerobic digestion of waste.

The EPA welcomes the increase in composting and anaerobic digestion of biodegradable waste – the quantity recycled increased by 15% between 2015 and 2016. Kitchen and canteen food waste together with park & garden waste accounted for most of the waste accepted for treatment in 2016 (65%). Composting rather than anaerobic digestion was the dominant treatment type.

March 15, 2018: The EPA has today released data and information on composting and anaerobic digestion in Ireland for 2016. The data updates the National Waste Statistics web resource, launched by the EPA in recent months.

Commenting on the figures, Stephen Treacy, EPA, stating:
“The EPA welcomes the increase in the amount of biodegradable waste being accepted for recycling at composting and anaerobic digestion plants. Ireland’s national waste management policy “A Resource Opportunity” aims to make the most of opportunities to recover resources from waste in line with the European Commission’s Circular Economy Strategy. Segregating and separately collecting biodegradable wastes such as food and garden waste means that they can be recycled and reduces the amount disposed to landfill.”

EPA figures show that the amount of waste accepted at commercial composting and anaerobic digestion plants increased by 15% between 2015 and 2016 (from 308,000 tonnes to 353,000 tonnes). Composting was the dominant treatment activity, (79% of tonnage accepted).

Waste collectors are required to provide brown bins to ensure that waste food is collected separately. In 2016, 174,000 tonnes of brown bin waste were accepted at composting and anaerobic digestion facilities for treatment, an increase of 22 per cent on 2015. Twelve per cent more households had an organic bin in 2016 compared to 2015 and this is a positive outcome from the implementation of the 2013 household food waste regulations. The amount of brown bin waste being exported to Northern Ireland for recovery rose again in 2016, by over 80%.

Stephen Treacy concluded by explaining the co-benefits of anaerobic digestion:
“Anaerobic digestion extracts additional value from organic waste due to the possibility of using the captured biogas. This not only mitigates the effect on climate change but the biogas can displace fossil fuel use, increasing the amount of renewables being used in Ireland.”

The 2016 information on Composting and Anaerobic Digestion is now available on the EPA website.


Second Case Of Wild Bird Flu Confirmed In Tipperary

Common Buzzard

A second case of Bird Flu, this year, has been found in a wild bird in Co Tipperary. The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has announced that the subtype H5N6 strain of avian influenza was detected in a dead Common Buzzard, latter found near Terryglass on lands adjacent Lough Derg.

The Health Service Executive (HSE), Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HSE-HPSC) and the European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) all advise that the risk to public health from H5N6 avian influenza strain is very low and that the disease poses no risk to food safety for consumers. Nevertheless owners of poultry flocks are being asked by the Department to minimise access to wild birds by feeding their poultry indoors and under cover. The Department of Agriculture also confirms that the situation in Ireland and other EU countries in regard to Avian influenza is being kept under constant review.

N.B. As a further precaution, the Department have advised that only trained professionals equipped with personal protective equipment should collect dead or sick birds, and have warned that members of the general public should not touch any dead birds they locate; as avian influenza, is a viral infection and can indeed infect humans and other animals. Do remember, in 2006, over 100 persons died from the H5N1 strain of the Avian Influenza.

An early warning system remains in place with organisations including the National Parks and Wildlife Service, Birdwatch Ireland, and the National Association of Regional Game Councils, seeking increased surveillance for signs of this disease in our wild birds.


Tipperary Irish Water Customers Affected By Kerosene Spillage

An estimated several thousand people are without a safe supply of drinking water here in Co. Tipperary since yesterday, due to a major kerosene spillage.

As a result, following consultations between the Health Service Executive (HSE), Irish Water and Tipperary County Council, a “Do Not Drink” notice has been issued for Fethard and its environs; same to come into immediate effect for the householders in this affected area.

This contamination of Hydrocarbon was only detected yesterday morning, with the spillage having occurred during Storm Emma. Irish Water now warn its customers that boiling this water does not make it safe for human consumption.

To protect the health of consumers, the HSE are advising that Kerosene is generally detected by smell and/or by taste, before it reaches a level which might seriously affect human health.

The source of the contamination we now understand has been identified and containment and clean-up measures have been put in place.

The Do Not Drink notice will apply to all consumers supplied by the Fethard Public Water Supply and under no circumstances it be used for drinking.


The Blue Tit – A Gardener’s Friend.

Bird Watch Thurles

Not to be mistaken for our native Great Tit or Coal Tit; the Blue Tit is to be found widespread here in Co. Tipperary and throughout Ireland.

Its song, often heard before the bird is actually observed, is quite a high-pitched “tsee-hee-he-hee”.  Found in almost all Irish gardens, eating out where nut and seed feeders are located, they can be easily identified by their green back, yellow belly, a blue cap, with blue wings and tail. Their white cheeks display a dark line through the eye area. Its beak is short and stubby and its leg colour is also a bluish-grey.

Music “Puppet on a String”, composed by Phil Coulter / Bill Martin

Surely the monkey of the bird world; the Blue Tit is exceptionally acrobatic, easily hanging upside-down on branches to peck and foraging for insects.  It will often team up with other Tit species and Tree-creepers and are happy to use a nesting box if one is provided and suitably positioned.

The Blue Tit survives mainly on small insects, but also seeds and will readily use peanut feeders and take scraps from bird tables. They make their nests usually in cavities in stone walls or in hollow trees but have been known to make their homes in pipes or damaged letterboxes.

Note: Never feed peanuts to birds during their breeding season as a newly born hatchling can easily choke when being fed by its parents.

Quality nest boxes can be obtained from O’Driscolls Garden Centre, Mill Road, here in Thurles [(0504) 21636], and right now is the time to install same.

Do remember one important fact; the diameter of the hole in a Blue Tit nesting box should be 2.5cm in Diameter, any larger or smaller aperture, will be most often bypassed.


Make The Effort – Feed The Birds

With the current snow and cold weather being experienced across Tipperary and further afield, life has become extremely hard for our feathered friends. Do remember that most of last years berries, which had fruited on our trees and shrubs, are now depleted having been already consumed.

Video Music composed by  Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus

This currently exceptional cold weather has brought large numbers of the more uncommon of our bird species, both foreign and native, down into our garden space in search of shelter and feed, thus joining our more frequently observed and resident varieties of Tits, Chaffinches and Robins etc. in further competition for grub.

All local supermarkets and garden centres, like O’Driscolls, [Mill Road, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Tel: (0504) 21636], are selling wild bird food, e.g. seed, peanuts, suet balls etc. for small cost. This food can the dispensed in handy wire or plastic feeders suspended from tree branches or placed on bird tables.  With snow covering hopefully coming to an end, do cut an apple or two in half and spear them on tree branches or simply leave them in an area that will not get covered over. This type of food is particularly acceptable to Blackbirds and Thrushes, who have problems hanging out of wire or plastic feeders.

Other foods acceptable on bird tables or large window sills are:- Cooked and chopped bacon rinds, Oatmeal, Cheese (Latter if you want to attract Robins), Suet, Cooked potato, Cooked chips, Raisins, wet Brown bread, Melon seeds, and Stale cake.

Keep in mind that fat is a major source of energy for birds and melted fat from your frying pan or roasting tin when poured over bread or cake scraps, will be greatly acceptable.

Try to avoid giving them completely dry white bread and never feed them with uncooked rice or desiccated (dried) coconut, which will most likely end up swelling their stomachs.

IMPORTANT: Right now fresh water supplies will be frozen over and inaccessible to our feathered friends, so do leave out an alternative unfrozen water sources, such as a water filled soup bowl or saucer, remembering with low temperatures this also will freeze over and will require to be changed regularly.

Once attracted to your home and garden, these feathered creatures will give adults and children enormous pleasure, while also aiding to remove some of those nasty little gardening pests, one can expect to encounter in the months ahead.