Dublin’s north inner city no longer litter blackspot, says Irish Business Against Litter

Cleanest town in Ireland will be revealed today

David Norris walks through Northside Georgian Dublin with Olivia Kelly looking at 'knicker palaces', 'bomb sites' and 'lavatorial buildings'. Video: Enda O' Dowd


Dublin’s north inner city is no longer a litter blackspot according to Irish Business Against Litter (Ibal), following a crackdown on illegal dumping by Dublin City Council.

However, the area remains the second dirtiest place in the State, in the 2014 anti-litter league survey carried out by An Taisce for Ibal.

Ireland’s cleanest town will be announced today, with last year’s winner Kilkenny in the running with Cavan, Longford and Tramore for the title.

Farranree in Cork is Ireland’s dirtiest town and the only one of 40 urban areas to be a “litter blackspot”.

Nationally, 85 per cent of towns and cities were judged “clean to European norms” last year and more than 40 per cent were cleaner than the European average, the best result in 18 years of surveys.

Six areas fell short of “clean” status, Drogheda, Maynooth, Tallaght and Dublin city centre, as well as the north inner city and Farranree.

There was a contrast between the cleanliness of towns and the roads leading into them. Almost half of the connecting routes between towns which were included in the survey were found to be moderately littered or worse. There was “persistent litter” on the road between Dundalk and Drogheda, and the stretch between Fermoy and Cork was heavily littered in parts. While Cavan was pristine, the road between it and Monaghan suffered from food related litter.

River walks

Sweet papers, cigarette butts, fast-food wrapping and chewing gum were the most prevalent forms of litter across the hundreds of sites surveyed. River walks and promenades, train stations, and recycling facilities were the sites most likely to suffer from litter, while the cleanest areas were main streets and town centres.

Blitz on dumping

According to the survey there are now “only a few very poor sites bringing down the overall, and even small improvements will see the area rise further in the rankings. This is hopefully a breakthrough for an area which had been rooted to the foot of the league for a number of years.”

The worst site was around Sheriff Street Upper and Seville Place with dumping on wasteland and widespread litter, particularly along the banks of the canal.

Of 24 sites in the north inner city, just eight were ranked as heavily littered .

Just over a year ago, the council announced a “blitz” on dumping black-spots in the entire north inner city. However, the results were not as good as it hoped and last September it changed focus to concentrate on specific, small areas at a time within the north inner city, with the help of CCTV cameras and door-to-door inspections.

Independent Senator David Norris recently criticised the levels of litter in the area, citing in particular the problem of uncollected, illegally-dumped rubbish bags.