There’s a lot to be said for a “staycation”. We do our bit by sparing a few air miles and boosting local economy but if I’m completely honest it’s the ease of transfer that attracts me most. None of that airport anxiety of mislaid tickets, careful luggage segregation and delayed flights. After a hectic run of work we chose to ignore the lure of exotic, faraway places to spend a few peaceful days on Irish soil. Sunshine wouldn’t be guaranteed but we took a chance and got lucky. Once the summer “leprechan rush” is over, Killarney is sublime. I had forgotten how beautiful our little country is even in the drizzle. We ambled by lakes through autumnal forests, ate well, glimpsed a white -tailed eagle and fell asleep to the sound of a bellowing stag outside our window. It was relaxing and, if anything, far too short.
But yeah, because it is hard to switch off completely and no green jam jar post would be complete without an injection of “green” I just had to include a picture of this solar compactor snapped on Killarney’s main street. We had never seen one before. It seems Kerry County Council have hit on an ingenious way to reduce the environmental hazard of overflowing litter bins. Descriptively called the Big Belly it claims to reduce collection costs by up to 70%. A solar panel provides the power for an internal compactor. When the rubbish reaches a certain level, sensors inside the bin trigger the compactor. Each Big Belly takes up roughly the same space as an ordinary street bin but because of its compaction capability it can hold up to eight times more than an average street bin. Clever. More local authorities should take note.
I should give credit for the lovely photos: my talented husband Z took these pictures which I subsequently robbed. Many thanks Z