AN old shower curtain led to another award for Ireland’s tidiest little town this year.
Abbeyleix won the Community Groups Award at the 2021 MyWaste Upcycle Challenge, whose judges included host Roisín Murphy of RTÉ’s popular TV show “Home Rescue”.
With typical ingenuity and imagination, Abbeyleix Tidy Towns managed to transform an old shower curtain into a zero energy slow cooker to win the community group category.
After the intimidating decision was made, Roisín said: “The quality of entries for this year’s Upcycle Challenge was exceptionally high. I was blown away by some of them and if I saw them for sale I would like to buy them for my own home.
“It was hard to judge them as they were incredibly creative, but I can’t wait to see more creations in the future from these passionate upcyclers.
Eight competition categories shared a prize of € 6,000, with Abbeyleix Tidy Towns receiving € 750. Categories included the EPA Special Prize, Schools, Professionals, and a Public Vote.
Declan Breen, regional waste prevention manager in the East Midlands waste management region, said the entries were “inspiring” creatively.
He said: “Every year this competition gets bigger and better. Applicants actively researched and recycled items that would otherwise have gone to landfill.
“They made some amazing, usable and creative items and it made their judgment very difficult. I want to congratulate all the finalists for coming this far and of course the winners.
It was a perfect end to an incredibly successful year for the hard-working Abbeyleix Tidy Towns volunteers, who won five incredible titles in the 2021 Tidy Towns competition.
Besides being named Ireland’s most well-kept small town, Abbeyleix has won the Climate Action Award, the County All Ireland Pollinator Plan Award, the Laois Gold Medal for the sixth consecutive year and the Midland Regional Award. . The town was also just one point away from Ennis, who won the overall title from Tidy Towns.