Another hugely successful Indiependence Festival came to an end last Sunday night. A truly magical event, with many happy memories etched into the minds of all the lucky ones who secured tickets.

“The best festival in the country” was how one teenager described it as she boarded a bus for home.

That is of course until Monday morning when the electric atmosphere is extinguished and the Deer Park site becomes just a large field littered with rubbish and abandoned tents.

For six years now ‘the big clean-up’ is tackled by Rory O’Kelly and his team from Ecokell. And each year is the same, collapsing tents, abandoned camping chairs, lost keys, wallets, phones, passports, shoes and clothes, left behind for the contract cleaning company to sort through – hopefully the more important items will be reunited with their owners.

The better tents are taken each year by agencies such as the Simon Community. Cloyne Youth Services took them this year for the homeless.

This year’s attendees left behind almost 30,000 sacks of rubbish and tens of tonnes of recycling on the Deer Park site. 20,000 bottles will be recycled, tens of tonnes of plastic too and thousands of cans. The clean up operation will take the 15 or more men and several large machines, five days to complete the task.

“The festival organisers are superb and have us on call throughout the event,” said Rory O’Kelly.

“We stay on site, if any bins start to overflow we’re there to provide new ones. We place a big emphasis on recycling. A lot of the plastic will be sent to the UK to make furniture. It can be a laborious ordeal but the site must be returned to Pat Mulcahy in tip top shape.

“We normally start the clean up in the car parks then move onto the roadways and industrial estates. The final pick and clean-up can be very slow but we need to remove all bottle tops and rings from cans that were left in the fields in case they are digested by any of Pat’s animals once we have left.”

Full pictorial coverage and report in this week’s Print & Digital Edition