Items created from an old sewing machine, bicycle tubes, a cable spool and recovered timber all triumphed as overall winners in the Upcycle Challenge 2017 competition prize-giving event on Friday 24th  November.

Westmeath Co. Council Leas-Cathaoirleach, Cllr. Tom Farrell, presented Martin McLaughlin (Connacht-Ulster Region), Hana Tesarova (Eastern-Midlands Region), IRD Duhallow Furniture Revamp (Southern Region) and the Allihies  Men’s Sheds Group (Men’s Shed National Category)  with their winners certificate and €1000 prizes.

The Upcycle Challenge is a nation- wide upcycling completion run as part of National Reuse Month. It is funded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Regional Waste Management Offices and is run in conjunction with Free Trade Ireland. The aim of the completion is to promote reuse and waste prevention by inspiring individuals and communities to get creative and innovative with materials that would otherwise be discarded as waste.

Although just in its second year, the Upcycle challenge received well over 100 entries, 28 of these in the new category created especially for Men’s Sheds. The winning items included a weekend bag crafted from used bicycle tubes, an old sewing machine transformed into a hall table, a foot stool that once was a car tyre and a cable spool that was granted a second life as a 6-seater patio table set.

The prize-giving event took place in St. Kieran’s Community Centre in Athlone and in addition to the Leas-Cathaoirleach Cllr. Tom Farrell, the Mayor of Athlone, Cllr. Aengus O’Rourke and Dr. Shane Colgan of the EPA were also in attendance.

Ends: Contact Joanne Rourke, EMWRO, 087 1745477

For the photo gallery of the awards ceremony, see here

Notes to the Editor:

Full list of Winners and Honourable Mention recipients

Connacht-Ulster Waste Management Region

Winner: Martin McLaughlin   –  Sewing Machine Table

Honourable Mentions:
Geraldine Timlin – Xmas Bulbs
Lorraine Carey    –   Coat Stand from various materials
Shane O’Donnell  –  Dog House

Eastern-Midlands Waste Management Region

Winner: Hana Tesarova     –   Weekend Bag from bicycle tubes

Honourable Mentions:
Stephen Hynes  –   Dog Kennel
Andrew McVey  –   Piano Bar
Jerome Cully  –   Bee Hive from pallets

Southern Waste Management Region

Winner: IRD Duhallow Furniture Revamp   –   Tyre Foot Stool

Honourable Mentions:
Doora NS  3rd & 5th class (Geraldine Greene, Teacher) –  Exercise Equipment
David Froggatt – Children’s Climbing Frame
Conor Prendergast –  Bench from old bed

Men’s Sheds Section

Winner: Allihies Men’s Shed     –    6-Seater Garden Table from a cable spool

Honourable Mentions:

Letterkenny Men’s Shed (Co. Donegal) –  Chess Table

Gort Men’s Shed (Co. Galway) – Storage Chest from pallets (Pirate style!)

Dublin 12 Men’s Shed (Dublin) –  Wishing Well