'If music be the food of love, play on' said William Shakespeare at around the time Kilkenny's medieval streets were being built. Now Kilkenny County Council is turning to musical messages to reward those who do their bit to keep the city clean and tidy as the city prepares to reopen to local and visiting shoppers and tourists. Having done much to create and reimagine outdoor spaces for meeting and dining and increase the ability of people to walk and cycle in comfort in the narrow streets, some city bins are being transformed to entertain and reward those who do the right thing by giving them a musical treat when they bin their litter.
As the city would normally welcome the thousands of visitors to the annual Roots Festival over the May Bank Holiday, flooding the city with music, to fill the void tunes will belt out from the litter bins for the month of May and may be continued if people like what they hear.
Cathaoirleach of Kilkenny County Council, Cllr. Andrew McGuinness said that Kilkenny is always breaking new ground in litter management:
'We are still celebrating winning the national IBAL Litter League earlier this year and our council, along with the fantastic tidy town volunteers of Keep Kilkenny Beautiful, have ensured our city is still gleaming, even when littering is all over the news around the country. I hope that our youngest citizens, in particular, will be motivated by the tuneful reaction and continue the good habits that generations of Kilkenny people are so proud of.'
Mayor of Kilkenny City, Cllr. John Coonan, called for all generations to play their part:
'The best thing we can do for the next generation is to acknowledge that individual actions they take make a real difference. Walking and cycling, instead of relying on cars, hugely helps our environment but putting our litter in a bin and ensuring it is safely disposed of is a way each of us can make a difference. It protects our local wildlife, ensuring biodiversity thrives and that our pollinating insects get the chance to ensure our flowers and wild plants thrive.'
County Council CEO, Colette Byrne, said that she was confident this novel idea would 'hit the right note' in protecting our local environment: Kilkenny and Irish people like nothing more than a blast of ceol. We hope that by associating responsible behaviour with fun and craic, that we will keep Kilkenny at the top of the table when it comes to litter leagues and lists of favourite places to live and visit.'