Biodiversity will play a key role in the events and activities of Limerick’s European Green Leaf 2020 plans. A living wall has been unveiled at City Hall which will grow throughout the year as it will be planted with creepers and pollinator friendly plants to mark Limerick becoming a European Green Leaf City for 2020. With wildflowers on the roundabouts and rewilding taking place in the meadows, Limerick will be a beacon of nature walks and with air quality and noise constantly monitored, quiet areas of the city can offer a tranquil environment.
Sustainability will be another major factor for Limerick this year. Upcycling events and workshops will be held throughout the year to highlight the importance of a circular economy. Limerick has a wide variety of vintage and second-hand shops that will be showcased. An aim for Limerick will be to reduce the amount of single use plastic used.
Water will be another priority for Limerick in 2020. Drinking water fountains will be rolled out across the city along with the continued growth of the Refill Ireland initiative.
Click here to download the Limerick European Green Leaf 2020 Brochure.
Limerick recognises the importance of nature and biodiversity and is committed to the protection and conservation of our natural assets for future generations. In 2018, Limerick City & County Council began a pilot project in ‘rewilding’ to encourage biodiversity and create additional habitat within the city for pollinators. Three public green areas were chosen for the pilot.
In January 2017, the Council installed three continuous particulate monitors in the city and in May 2018, gas monitors were added to the network to measure NO2, SO2, O3 and CO. The monitoring results show that air quality in Limerick is good. The Council began mapping noise levels from major roads in 2007 and produced its first Noise Action Plan in 2008, as required under the Environmental Noise Directive. It currently has a network of four ‘Type 2’ sound level meters in the city which record noise levels continuously and provide real time data.
An approx. 4.5km shared surface walk and cycle way was developed along the canal bank. Car parking spaces within the city centre were converted to bike parking and secure bike lockers were fitted in three of the city centre car parks. There are 23 bike share stations and 215 bikes, eight dedicated Car Club spaces and nine e-car charging stations are located in the city.
LCCC was the first public body in Ireland to install Solar Photo Voltaic (PV) panels in 2008 and today has four buildings with a total of 40 kW Solar PV panels and has achieved a 20% improvement in energy efficiency to date. The 'Better Energy Homes' insulation programme in 2009 is now national and, at 25%, Limerick has the highest percentage of home upgrades in Ireland. Limerick will be Ireland’s first EU Lighthouse City under a €20 million Horizon 2020 project called “Positive Energy City Exchange” and will establish Ireland’s first Positive Energy Block (PEB) in the heart of Limerick City.
Mungret Civic Amenity Centre is a state-of-the-art facility, provided by Limerick City & County Council, which facilitates the reuse and recycling of a wide range of materials. Items that are suitable for reuse are set aside where users of the centre may avail of them. It also takes green waste for composting, electric and electronic waste, some hazardous waste from householders along with a large range of other items for recycling. The Council demonstrates its commitment to waste prevention and appropriate waste management by employing an Environment Awareness Officer to coordinate initiatives locally. Team Limerick Clean-up (TLC) takes place every Easter Good Friday since 2015. The first year, over 10,000 people participated in what was Ireland’s largest ever one-day clean-up! In 2019, almost 21,000 volunteers took part from 646 separate groups.
The water supply for Limerick City comes from the River Shannon and is treated at the Clareville Water Works. There has been a water treatment plant at this location since the 19th Century but it has been upgraded many times since then. The treatment plant currently treats and delivers 48,000-50,000 m3/day. This is about 2/3 of the capacity of the plant. 60% of the water from the plant is consumed by residents of the city, with the remainder supplying parts of County Limerick and County Clare. Wastewater from the entire city of Limerick is collected and treated to an appropriate standard before discharging to the River Shannon.