Kilkenny city named cleanest place
Kilkenny has been named Ireland’s cleanest place in a litter survey run by Irish Business Against Litter (Ibal)
Cavan and Killarney also ranked high in the league, which showed 80 per cent of 42 towns and cities in the country to be as clean or cleaner than their European counterparts.
Dublin’s north inner city was named and shamed as the dirtiest place in Ireland and earmarked as the country’s only rubbish blackspot.
Ibal chairman Tom Cavanagh compared the progress made on litter to that of road safety.
“Each January we hear the welcome news that the numbers killed on our roads has again fallen,” he said.
“In particular, the attitude to drink-driving has been transformed in a way that would have seemed unthinkable some years ago.
“There are parallels with the improvements we are now seeing in cleanliness levels. We might have viewed ourselves traditionally as a less than tidy nation, but the results tell a different story.
“Leaving aside certain areas in our cities, we are becoming one of the cleanest societies in Europe.”
Organisers said this was the first time that Kilkenny city, which has been litter-free for the past four years, has won the Ibal litter league, taking the title from last year’s winner Trim.
It was one of 22 towns and cities to be deemed ‘Cleaner Than European Norms’ this year.
An Taisce, which conducts the litter surveys, said all sites scrutinised in Kilkenny achieved the top litter grade.
It said approach roads to the city were in particularly good order, while the site by the riverbank, where there had been previous issues, had been improved with the removal of graffiti.
The organisation also praised the footpath and road surface along High Street.
In Dublin, landlords were blamed for the neglect of the north inner city after it was branded the dirtiest place in the country.
Ibal said the area had one of the worst results recorded in a decade.
Dr Cavanagh said derelict buildings with absent landlords meant there was no one accountable for surrounding litter and dumping, while state-owned property owners were failing to keep areas outside and within their premises litter-free.
State agency NAMA and Irish Rail were among the offenders, Dr Cavanagh said.
Local councillor and leader of the Fianna Fail group on Dublin City Council, Mary Fitzpatrick, said illegal dumping, caused by the authority’s withdrawal of domestic waste collection, was out of control.
“Not only are street bins overflowing, many have had to be removed and dumping is occurring on streets, laneways, along the train tracks and the canal,” Ms Fitzpatrick said.
Both the north inner city and the approach roads around Dublin Airport came bottom of the litter league last September.
However, neighbourhoods around the airport have been credited with a remarkable turnaround over the past few months.
Ibal said this was mainly due to Fingal County Council reworking its cleaning schedules, with key routes now being cleaned once a month compared with once a year.
Ibal litter survey list:
Cleaner than European Norms
10 Waterford City
14 Dun Laoghaire
Clean to European Norms
23 Galway City
34 Cork City
35 Limerick City
37 Dublin City
41 Dublin Airport Environs
42 North Inner City Dublin