Litter levels in Dublin city centre rising, survey finds

‘Attention to detail’ makes Killarney cleanest town in Irish Business Against Litter study

Dublin is once again becoming a dirty old town with its city centre slipping down the rankings of the Irish Business Against Litter (Ibal) national litter survey.

Visitors to the capital this summer encountered more litter than in previous years with high footfall areas such as Grafton Street and O’Connell Street slipping from clean to “moderately littered”, according to the survey carried out by An Taisce for the anti-litter business organisation.


The west of the city centre fared even worse with parts of Capel Street, Manor Street, Brunswick Street and Church Street designated “litter blackspots”. Road works at College Green have resulted in heavy levels of “builders’ litter”, the survey found. The construction of the Luas cross city line began this summer.

There was better news for the north inner city. Previously a litter blackspot, the area has improved and now sits at number 37 of 40 areas surveyed. Conor Horgan, Ibal spokesman, said: “The most striking aspect of this survey is the improvement in neglected urban areas such as Dublin’s north inner city.”


Mr Hogan credits recent efforts by Dublin City Council to clean up the area. The council last September announced a crackdown on illegal dumping. Last week it said more than half of households targeted have now signed up to pay their waste charges.

Turning point

“While ‘littered’ status is clearly not good enough, we are seeing evidence that when a local authority concentrates its efforts on a problem area, it can bring about results. This could be a turning point, as for years these neglected urban areas showed no improvement whatsoever.”

Killarney was the cleanest town surveyed, followed by Dungarvan and Tralee. An Taisce praised Killarney’s win as “a fitting result for a town which is at the heart of our tourism product”.

“It is the continuous attention to detail which puts Killarney at the top of the league.”

Best and Worst




(tied) Tralee

(tied) Roscommon

Waterford city


Farranree (Cork city)

Dublin city


Dublin north inner city


Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly is Dublin Editor of The Irish Times